Almost two-thirds of students who enter community colleges every year are judged to be academically not ready to engage in college-level coursework. In order to enroll, these students typically must take one or more “remedial” or “developmental” math or English courses that will not count toward their college degree. The students most likely to be referred to these courses are the low-income and minority students for whom a college degree could change the trajectory of their lives, and address the nation’s appalling disparities in educational attainment by income and race.
The bulk of the evidence, however, suggests that the $4 billion annual investment in services to help underprepared students is having little positive impact on the success of those students in community colleges. In this report, we review that research, describe findings from studies on four types of reforms under way at various colleges, and conclude with our view that a wholesale redesign of the student experience at community colleges is needed to make a real difference in the outcomes of underprepared students.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at When College Students Start Behind – The Century Foundation