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More older students enrolling in college means more remedial classes

From: Dayton Daily News

By Christopher Magan, Staff Writer Updated 12:52 AM Monday, August 9, 2010

DAYTON — Ohio college students’ need for remedial education will not decline, but grow in coming years as the state moves to enroll a record number of older and nontraditional students.

“Our goal of expanding enrollment in the state means reaching out more and more to people who are not at the level of college readiness,” said Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. “We see this need is going to grow and that is why we have been aggressive about this issue.”

About a third of high school seniors who enter college need some type of remedial courses, Ohio Board of Regents’ data shows. Selective and private colleges also are affected and many offer resources like tutors and writing centers to help struggling students.

To meet enrollment goals, Ohio needs more adults to go to college. Older students typically need more remedial courses and to address that need Ohio is concentrating more and more of its remedial classes at community colleges because they can do it cheaply.

The move is not without controversy. Some college professors worry courses could be watered down or that already struggling students won’t succeed in classes taught by community colleges’ largely part-time staffs.

John Cuppoletti, a University of Cincinnati professor and president-elect of the Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors who takes office in September, said the union hasn’t taken a stance on concentrating remedial courses at the community college level. He wants to see quality safeguarded and believes using tenured-track professors is important.

David Devier, Clark State Community College vice president of academic and student affairs, said two-year schools are seeing their roles transform dramatically. For many struggling students, community colleges will be a bridge to a four-year degree.

“As a society, we have to find ways to help every individual who wants to better themselves,” Devier said. “Let’s give people the opportunity to prove themselves; support them and they will be successful.”

The state is now requiring uniform courses so credits can easily transfer statewide. That has allowed Clark State to partner with Wright State and soon will offer students dual enrollment so they can take remedial and general courses at the same time.

Enrolling more adults in college will increase the need for remedial courses and educators hope some of those numbers can be offset by better preparing high school students. Ohio is one of 31 states to adopt the Common Core Standards for English and mathematics in hopes of better preparing high school graduates.

Stan Heffner, Ohio Department of Education associate superintendent for curriculum and assessment, said the common standards are the first time the state and nation has laid out exactly what is expected for college readiness. High school teachers will work with college professors to ensure students develop the skills they need to succeed at the college level.

When students take a curriculum track equivalent to the core standards, the need for remedial classes is cut in half, data shows.

Poor high school preparedness can’t just be blamed on public schools, Chancellor Fingerhut said. “This really is a shared responsibility. It has to be a partnership. It can’t be a finger-pointing exercise,” he said. “We train the teachers and research shows teachers are the No. 1 factor in training the student.”

Another education reform also won’t make the need for remediation go away. The problem follows socio-economic lines and schools with large poor populations typically produce the most students who need remedial help, data from the Ohio Board of Regents shows. The Dayton Public, Jefferson Twp., Northridge and Trotwood-Madison school districts all had 60 percent or more of their high school graduates who went on to state colleges needing some remedial help.

Kurt Stanic, recently retired superintendent of Dayton Public Schools who spent a career as an administrator in urban, high-poverty schools, said remedial college programs are a necessity to keeping the doors of higher education open to everyone.

“We don’t want to see opportunities limited to the affluent,” Stanic said. “Poverty is everything it is cracked up to be. It is a giant challenge. If you come to school hungry, if a person is not at home, is not working, it is difficult.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2342 or cmagan@Dayton
DailyNews.com.

Grads needing remedial help

Percentage of high school graduates who entered Ohio public colleges needing remedial classes between 2003 to 2007:

Montgomery County

Centerville 24%

Dayton 64%

Huber Heights 48%

Jefferson Twp. 63%

Kettering 32%

Miamisburg 37%

Northmont 37%

Northridge 64%

Oakwood 18%

Trotwood-Madison 63%

Vandalia-Butler 33%

West Carrollton 50%

Greene County

Beavercreek 26%

Fairborn 42%

Sugarcreek 23%

Xenia 39%

Miami County

Piqua 47%

Tipp City 32%

Troy 39%

Freshmen taking remedial classes

Percentage of college freshmen taking remedial courses in 2010:

Wright State University 41%

Sinclair Community College 56%

Clark State Community College 60%

Edison Community College 46%

Source: Ohio Board
of Regents 

From: Dayton Daily News

By Christopher Magan, Staff Writer Updated 12:52 AM Monday, August 9, 2010

DAYTON — Ohio college students’ need for remedial education will not decline, but grow in coming years as the state moves to enroll a record number of older and nontraditional students.

“Our goal of expanding enrollment in the state means reaching out more and more to people who are not at the level of college readiness,” said Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. “We see this need is going to grow and that is why we have been aggressive about this issue.”

About a third of high school seniors who enter college need some type of remedial courses, Ohio Board of Regents’ data shows. Selective and private colleges also are affected and many offer resources like tutors and writing centers to help struggling students.

To meet enrollment goals, Ohio needs more adults to go to college. Older students typically need more remedial courses and to address that need Ohio is concentrating more and more of its remedial classes at community colleges because they can do it cheaply.

The move is not without controversy. Some college professors worry courses could be watered down or that already struggling students won’t succeed in classes taught by community colleges’ largely part-time staffs.

John Cuppoletti, a University of Cincinnati professor and president-elect of the Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors who takes office in September, said the union hasn’t taken a stance on concentrating remedial courses at the community college level. He wants to see quality safeguarded and believes using tenured-track professors is important.

David Devier, Clark State Community College vice president of academic and student affairs, said two-year schools are seeing their roles transform dramatically. For many struggling students, community colleges will be a bridge to a four-year degree.

“As a society, we have to find ways to help every individual who wants to better themselves,” Devier said. “Let’s give people the opportunity to prove themselves; support them and they will be successful.”

The state is now requiring uniform courses so credits can easily transfer statewide. That has allowed Clark State to partner with Wright State and soon will offer students dual enrollment so they can take remedial and general courses at the same time.

Enrolling more adults in college will increase the need for remedial courses and educators hope some of those numbers can be offset by better preparing high school students. Ohio is one of 31 states to adopt the Common Core Standards for English and mathematics in hopes of better preparing high school graduates.

Stan Heffner, Ohio Department of Education associate superintendent for curriculum and assessment, said the common standards are the first time the state and nation has laid out exactly what is expected for college readiness. High school teachers will work with college professors to ensure students develop the skills they need to succeed at the college level.

When students take a curriculum track equivalent to the core standards, the need for remedial classes is cut in half, data shows.

Poor high school preparedness can’t just be blamed on public schools, Chancellor Fingerhut said. “This really is a shared responsibility. It has to be a partnership. It can’t be a finger-pointing exercise,” he said. “We train the teachers and research shows teachers are the No. 1 factor in training the student.”

Another education reform also won’t make the need for remediation go away. The problem follows socio-economic lines and schools with large poor populations typically produce the most students who need remedial help, data from the Ohio Board of Regents shows. The Dayton Public, Jefferson Twp., Northridge and Trotwood-Madison school districts all had 60 percent or more of their high school graduates who went on to state colleges needing some remedial help.

Kurt Stanic, recently retired superintendent of Dayton Public Schools who spent a career as an administrator in urban, high-poverty schools, said remedial college programs are a necessity to keeping the doors of higher education open to everyone.

“We don’t want to see opportunities limited to the affluent,” Stanic said. “Poverty is everything it is cracked up to be. It is a giant challenge. If you come to school hungry, if a person is not at home, is not working, it is difficult.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2342 or cmagan@DaytonDailyNews.com.

Grads needing remedial help

Percentage of high school graduates who entered Ohio public colleges needing remedial classes between 2003 to 2007:

Montgomery County

Centerville 24%

Dayton 64%

Huber Heights 48%

Jefferson Twp. 63%

Kettering 32%

Miamisburg 37%

Northmont 37%

Northridge 64%

Oakwood 18%

Trotwood-Madison 63%

Vandalia-Butler 33%

West Carrollton 50%

Greene County

Beavercreek 26%

Fairborn 42%

Sugarcreek 23%

Xenia 39%

Miami County

Piqua 47%

Tipp City 32%

Troy 39%

Freshmen taking remedial classes

Percentage of college freshmen taking remedial courses in 2010:

Wright State University 41%

Sinclair Community College 56%

Clark State Community College 60%

Edison Community College 46%

Source: Ohio Boardof Regents

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