Same As It Ever Was: The Pitfalls of Remedial Education

EWA Radio: Episode 88

Millions of high school graduates show up for the first day of college academically unprepared for the rigors of higher ed. And that’s where remedial (or “developmental”) education comes into play. Students don’t get academic credit for these classes even though they still cost them in time and money. And there’s another problem: being placed in even one remedial class as a freshman — particularly at a community college — can significantly reduce a student’s odds of ever completing a degree.

In a new documentary, Emily Hanford — senior education correspondent for APM Reports (formerly American RadioWorks) — takes a close look at the nation’s remedial education crisis, and some possible solutions. She talks with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about questions of fairness and accuracy when it comes to deciding who gets placed in remedial education. They also discuss examples of colleges and states that are making strides toward improving opportunities and outcomes for these high-need students.

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