Indiana News

State Works to Better ID College-Bound Students Needing Remedial Help

9/30/2013

Indiana has taken a first step toward trying to get high school students remedial math and English help before they start college.

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Ivy Tech has estimated 70% of its students need remedial math, and other Indiana colleges say they have to bring some of their students up to speed too. Starting this year, high school sophomores who need more than two tries to pass the required end-of-course exam will take a college readiness test called AccuPlacer.

Ivy Tech associate vice president John Newby says the community college already uses the test, and has been urging schools to join them. He says he's reluctant to impose yet another exam on high schools, but says he believes this one can head off a lot of problems down the road.

Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers says remediation is one reason for low college completion rates. She says students struggling to afford college can end up exhausting their funds or patience without earning their diploma, because they've had to spend too much time on remedial work instead of degree requirements. She praises Ivy Tech for instituting a program allowing students to simultaneously work on college and remedial courses.

The AccuPlacer directive is a stopgap while the State Board of Education continues work on a more detailed way of identifying which students need extra help. That plan should be in place before next school year.

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