One State’s Big Shift Away From Remedial Courses Leaves Questions for Colleges Everywhere
Tennessee is the first state in the nation to eliminate its free-standing remedial classes and give just about everyone a chance to dive right into classes that count for credit.
Tennessee is in the vanguard of a national movement spurred by aggressive lobbying by groups that argue that the traditional approach to remedial education is a dead end. It’s in the vanguard of a national movement spurred by aggressive lobbying by groups that argue that the traditional approach to developmental, or remedial, education is a dead end.
The "corequisite" model puts a student who would normally require remediation first — like Ms. Massey — directly into a credit-bearing mathematics or English course. Learning support is wrapped around it, through additional coursework, tutoring, or labs.
It’s an approach that has proved highly effective for years for students who narrowly miss the cutoff for college-level courses.
What’s different today is that the idea is being expanded and applied across college systems, and even some states, for the vast majority of underprepared students.
The rollout in Tennessee comes at a challenging time for the state’s community and technical colleges, which are straining under an influx of about 15,000 new students.