A new model that Roane State and all Tennessee community colleges are using to better progress students who need remedial support is receiving national attention.
Under the old model, students whose placement scores indicated they were not ready for college-level work had to pass a series of remedial courses before enrolling in college-level courses the next semester.
The remedial courses did not count toward a student’s degree. A student required to take multiple remedial courses could, for example, finish an entire semester of college as a full-time student without earning a single college credit toward their degree.
The new model, called co-requisite remediation, places under-prepared students directly into the college-level course, but requires learning support systems to help the students master course content and earn college credit in the same semester.
A statewide analysis by the Tennessee Board of Regents, the governing body for the state’s community colleges, found that among students who arrived unprepared for college-level math, 51 percent passed the college credit-bearing course in Fall 2015, compared to only 12.3 percent under the old remediation program. The pass rates for students in writing classes nearly doubled.
National organizations such as Complete College America, the Community College Research Center, major higher education news journals, and others, have all highlighted Tennessee’s success with co-requisite remediation.
At Roane State Community College, 77 percent of the students who passed remedial writing also passed college-level English. In math, 71 percent of the students enrolled in remedial math passed the college-level probability and statistics course.
“We are very excited about the fall 2015 results of co-requisite remediation,” said Mike Hill, Roane State’s director of learning centers and learning support. “The data represent students who have now earned college-level credit who before the co-requisite would only be enrolling in those courses in their second semester. Helping students earn college credit in the first semester, while ensuring they have the support they need to be successful, is crucial for progressing students toward graduation.