By Katherine Mangan
As states and the federal government put a greater emphasis on raising college graduation rates, community colleges are moving to help a group of students who often fall behind: those required to take remedial-education classes. Sixty-eight percent of community-college students are required to take at least one class in remedial education, also known as developmental education; only about a quarter of that group earn a degree within eight years, according to the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
The Problem: Remedial Students Lack Confidence
Students who are placed in catch-up classes in reading, writing, and math often become discouraged and drop out before they even make it to college-level classes. While the coursework can be a challenge, they often also simply feel like they don’t fit in or don’t see the practical value in remedial education. Many students in remedial classes are the first in their families to attend college, and without role models, they may question whether they belong in college. If they do poorly in a class, what little self-confidence they have may crumble.