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ERIC Number: ED530578
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-1938-7830
Ending College Remediation: Consequences for Access and Opportunity. Policy Brief. ASHE/Lumina Fellows Series. Issue 2
Parker, Tara L.
Association for the Study of Higher Education
To what extent does eliminating remedial education impede or facilitate the opportunity to earn bachelor's degrees for underprepared students? Educating underprepared students is often viewed as one of the most challenging and complex issues facing higher education today. Recent policy decisions to end remedial education, however, signify a much too simplified resolution to a multifaceted problem. To date, approximately 22 states or higher education systems (particularly in four-year colleges) reduced or eliminated college remedial coursework. At the same time, many higher education institutional leaders have raised admissions standards in the name of improving educational quality. These policy decisions, under the guise of standards-based reform and accountability, more often succeed not so much in improving educational opportunities, but in limiting promise. Many students seeking a baccalaureate degree, too often those challenged by inequities in the K-12 system, find themselves pushed out of four-year colleges and universities (Brint & Karabel, 1989). Many students are diverted to community colleges where attrition remains high and degree completion rates are quite low (Dougherty, 1992; Laanan, 2001). This essay examines the potential consequences of policy decisions that reduce or end college remediation. Drawing from case studies of the California State University (CSU) and the City University of New York (CUNY), this essay uses interviews with system and institutional leaders and document analyses of reports, meeting minutes, and press releases to uncover some of the underlying access and equity issues related to changes in college remediation policy. As the second and third largest university systems in the nation, CSU and CUNY are two of the most prominent cases of universities that reduced remedial education. Together they offer lessons to policymakers when considering changes in remediation policy. (Contains 2 footnotes.) [This paper was written with the assistance of Laura Rendon, Jose Cabrales, Stephen Porter, Leticia Bustillos, Shaila Mulholland, and Kris Renn.]
Association for the Study of Higher Education. Box 453068 4505 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154. Tel: 702-895-2737; Fax: 702-895-4269; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for the Study of Higher Education
Identifiers - Location: California; New York