While taking placement exams, I was always afraid of being placed in remedial classes, because for once in my life, I was worried about how the exam would affect my college career.
Assembly Bill 705, signed by Governor Jerry Brown Oct. 13, 2017, attempts to eliminate remedial classes that may delay students’ education. It went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year.
Typically, remedial courses are required by those who receive low scores on placement exams and are meant to help the student catch up. Unfortunately, at the college level, the units accrued in these courses do not count toward degrees.
According to Education Dive, the CSU system is cancelling remedial classes and replacing them with “credit-bearing courses,” which are designed to help students at all 23 campuses graduate faster.
Some students are placed in remedial classes for many years despite their academic standing in high school. Before this bill, students coming out of high school with a high GPA would still have to take a test and be placed in remedial courses if they did not have a good score. This change will give students who have been placed in these courses over the years a chance to take regular college courses.
The new method of taking a combination of high school GPA, grades, and high school coursework and applying them to placement is a fair path for all students entering college.
Replacing remedial courses at Long Beach State is going to have a significant and positive impact on incoming students, faculty and those currently enrolled in those courses.
A study by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that 27 percent of college students placed in remedial courses eventually pass a transfer-level course with a C or higher. The downside is that these remedial classes can take multiple semesters to complete.
Remedial courses have long been a roadblock for students from elementary school to college. School is a never ending competitive battle to see who’s smarter than the other and the education system further solidifies the mindset that a test score will set you apart from others.
These types of tests have placed an unnecessary amount of stress and pressure on students and have made otherwise good students seem as though they are less intelligent.
But replacing remedial classes comes with a whole new approach. The default placement rules offer a scheme for placing students into courses based on their performance in high school.
This approach makes it easier when deciding where to place students.
Because colleges can now use high school records to determine the placement of each student, taking away remedial classes will also take away placement exams. Perhaps not all placement exams, but some, which will eliminate fees and save students money on tuition.
Dropping remedial courses and graduating students faster means the university will have more spots available for new students. It saves time and the new approach makes it easier for administration, faculty and students and is a weight lifted off of many shoulders.