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June 05, 2013 11:59 AM Florida’s Optional Remediation

By Daniel Luzer

Remediation, the courses many students take in college to get them “prepared” for credit-bearing courses, are a problem. Some 34 percent of students in public colleges take remedial courses. But taking a remedial courses actually makes a student less likely to graduate from college. There’s also significant evidence that many college students forced to take remedial courses due to standardized test scores may be perfectly capable of succeeding without them.

Armed with this information, Florida community colleges will begin a new remediation policy: let the students decide if they want to take the courses. According to a piece at Inside Higher Ed:

Community college students in Florida will soon be able to decide to skip remediation and enroll directly in credit-bearing courses, even if college advisers or placement tests say they have remedial needs. And recent high school graduates in the state won’t even need to take placement tests, because they will be deemed college-ready by holding a high school diploma.
When they arrive at Florida community colleges, recent high school graduates will still be able to take placement tests or enroll in noncredit remedial courses. They just won’t have to.

If colleges believe students aren’t capable of succeeding in credit-bearing courses they will offer students different ways to get ready, including “co-requisite” courses, credit-bearing courses plus extra help.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer