Remedial education rates drop at Missouri colleges and universities

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JEFFERSON CITY - A recent report from the Missouri Department of Higher Education showed that remedial education rates have declined at Missouri's public colleges and universities. 

Public high school graduates taking remedial courses in college decreased from 22.8 percent in 2017 to 21.5 percent in 2018. Overall, the rate has dropped more than 14 percent since 2013, potentially reducing the amount of time and money for students to earn their degree.  

"We've also seen some decreases in subject areas, mathematics, English and ready", said Rusty Monhollon, assistant commissioner for academic affairs.  

Research shows that students who have to take a remedial course often need an extra semester in college to graduate.

Dr. Monhollon said the biggest difference now is that institutions are using more than just standardized tests to decided whether the student should be in a credit-baring course or a remedial course.

Aside from only looking at a students ACT or SAT scores, institutions are looking at students' high school GPAs and what classes they have completed.  

The Department has been working with Missouri's public universities for the past six years to reduce remedial education rates. 

Public colleges and universities have implemented co-requisite courses that place students by default into the credit-baring courses and also provides them additional academic support. 

"It's the idea of: let's not put them in a course that carries no credit, in for which they have to pay," Monhollon said. "Let's provide them with additional support."

This report moves the department toward meeting the goal of having 60 percent of working-age adults with a degree or certificate by 2025. 

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