Louisiana revamps remedial classes for college students

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s public colleges and universities are revamping classes for students who aren’t prepared for English or college math.

Instead of taking non-credit courses with short in-class sessions, these students will attend longer sessions that run throughout the semester, from makeup materials to college-level work. They will also receive additional academic support and, if they pass, they will earn college credits.

This approach, called co-requisites, helps more students stay in college and graduate, removing barriers to higher education, the Board of Regents said in a press release on Friday.

The new model will be rolled out statewide for math in fall 2023 and for English the following fall.

The 214,000 students enrolled in Louisiana public higher education include 14,000 in math remedial classes and 4,000 in English remedial classes, Regents spokeswoman Meg Casper Sunstrom said in an email. .

Louisiana was one of seven states that received $300,000 from the States Education Commission in 2020 to begin phasing in the math co-requisite model. Preliminary analysis found that 55% of freshmen taking these math courses in the 2020-21 school year passed them, compared to 11% of remedial math students.

Tennessee and Georgia are among states that have achieved similar results, the regents said.

“Tackling barriers to student success, like college math success, brings us closer to our goal of doubling the number of college graduates in our state by 2030 and, at the same time, saves time and money to our students,” said board chairman Collis Temple III. .

The board also approved guidelines granting undergraduate credit for learning outside of college, such as on the job or in the military.

Under the new guidelines, credits can be awarded based on various nationally standardized tests, including college-level exam curriculum, industry-based certificates, or military exams or training. Credit may also be based on the assessment of a work experience portfolio or a faculty-developed exam.

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