College Remedial Classes: Paying for Nothing


Thalia Gonzalez, Junior Editor

As new generations come and the years go on, colleges seem to be changing in many ways, but one thing that colleges have always had are remedial or intermediate classes. Remedial classes are courses that may be required for certain students. These classes build up their skills in math, reading, or English before students are allowed to take their required college course.

When taking remedial classes, you do not get the actual college credits. So, you are taking up your time working hard on something that won’t count toward your degree. This is because colleges expect you to test high enough to take their college courses, and when this score is not met, they need to make sure your skills are built enough to handle the course load.

Students who have to take remedial classes often endure additional tuition costs and can fall behind the rest of the students, but as the years go on, more and more students are seen taking remedial classes. Statistics in South Dakota show that for students who take a required remedial class, their likelihood of graduating drops by about 50 percent.

Basically, since studies are now showing how remedial classes are not “helping” anymore, there are new efforts underway to improve teaching, learning, and testing to better prepare students. Reforms are being placed at universities to direct students away from remedial classes and into courses that give them credits and will help them stay on track for graduating.

This fall in South Dakota, colleges have offered an alternative option to students who don’t test high enough in math. Instead of having to take a remedial math class, they will be offered a course called Quantitative Literacy with a learning lab that will cost the students less money while still providing the college credit.

Colleges seem to be changing constantly to accommodate to the students. Although it is good to have change, is it good to be making things easier? This may cause students to not try as hard in certain subjects, because they know there is an easier way available to them. Colleges will keep doing what they have to do to keep their graduation rate up. When we have colleges lowering expectations, how will this long term effect our society? We will have more college graduates with less education.