Community college chief: Remedial classes crucial

11/30/2013

LAWRENCE (AP) — Remedial education for college students is crucial to the progress of thousands of Kansans and the state as a whole, a community college president told the state's Board of Regents.

LAWRENCE (AP) — Remedial education for college students is crucial to the progress of thousands of Kansans and the state as a whole, a community college president told the state's Board of Regents.

Kansas lawmakers passed a law last year prohibiting four-year universities from using state funds to provide remedial courses, arguing that students who need that basic help might be better served attending a community college.

Last week, Neosho County Community College president Brian Inbody told Regents remedial or developmental instruction provides a path to higher education and out of poverty, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

"It is at the heart of the community college mission," Inbody said.

Developmental education refers to courses offered at post-secondary institutions that typical include intermediate algebra, fundamentals of English or reading. Students use the classes to prepare for more rigorous college-level courts.

Thirty-eight percent of first-time, degree-seeking students attending Kansas community colleges in the 2010-2011 academic year — the most recent for which statistics are available — enrolled in such courses during their first year of college. At the university level, 17 percent enrolled in remedial courses during their first year.

Math is the most common remedial course taken by first-year students.

Many students in community colleges are struggling to overcome poverty and haven't had the same family support systems other college students enjoy, Inbody said.

A typical community college class, he said, might include a mixture of recent high school graduates, older adults who haven't been in a classroom for more than 15 years, and students who scored low on the ACT.

"If you are ready to make a change in your life, we are going to meet where you are in your life," Inbody said. "And if you can prove yourself, you can move on."

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