Impact of remedial students on ASCC resources huge
High school graduates having to take remedial courses at the American Samoa Community College is having a “huge impact” across the board on the college’s resources, said ASCC president Dr. Seth Galeai during yesterday’s budget review hearing for the government owned entity.
An ASCC management presentation during a recent cabinet meeting states that 90% of local high school graduates must enroll in remedial courses before they are ready to matriculate to college courses.
At the ASCC budget hearing Rep. Larry Sanitoa pointed out the problem of graduates having to take remedial courses and asked how this affects the overall operation of the college as well as the impact it has on ASCC resources.
“Huge impact. Huge impact on our academic programs,” was Dr. Galea’i's reply. “The college is spending an inordinate amount of time on remedial classes and programs. We’ve began to ask ourselves, ‘when are we truly going to be a real college?’ in terms of providing academic programs that allow students to enter into university level academic programs.”
He also pointed out that there “are problems with enrollment in the trade and technology courses — also due to the student's poor preparation.”
Additionally, “there are low enrollments in nursing because our students have to take remedial courses before they can even enter into nursing,” he said.
“So it's across the board impact and it's creating quite a negative impact in terms of the outcomes for our college. It’s difficult for us to report solid improvement in terms of programmatic outcome when most of our kids are stuck in remedial programs,” he said.
“When we look at the... length of years it takes for a kid to matriculate through ASCC — although the data says it's like 2-point-something or three years to finish an associate degree at the college — it's still quite a lengthy time for a student to spend at the college,” he said. “They could be saving some of that financial aid money for when they enter into their four year program.”
Sanitoa says the Fono takes this issue seriously and has asked a lot of questions with the Education Department on where exactly the DOE goes from here — to educate students and ensure they don’t end up taking remedial courses at ASCC.
“It’s a serious problem for all of us,” said Sanitoa, adding that every sector of the government and the community needs to work together to address this issue.
Rep. Taotasi Archie Soliai asked if there is a way the college could carry out a cost assessment involving students taking remedial courses and its cost impact. Dr. Galeai said his office can provide the numbers later.
The ASCC president also said that the remedial program is the largest on campus — it has the most faculty, and most resources going to this program. “That’s just an indication as to the urgency of the problem — that we have to focus on remediation even before thinking about allocating resources for our college level program,” he said.
Samoa News will report later this week on other issues discussed during the ASCC budget, which totals $13.29 million with $8.50 million in federal grants, $4.60 in local revenues and $182,500 from the ASCC book store.
Samoa News should point out that —not discussed during the hearing— was how much of the $8.5 million which ASCC lists in federal grants goes toward the remedial classes, and how ASCC’s remediation issues compare to stateside community colleges.
Some fast facts from the National Conference of State Legislatures website takes a quick look at the need for remediation and its percentages across the US.
Of importance, it notes:
•Lowering remediation rates will save money. The Alliance for Excellent Education suggests that reducing the need for remediation could generate an extra $3.7 billion annually from decreased spending on the delivery of remedial education and increased tax revenue from students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
▪Remediation is costly for states to provide and for students to take. Strong American Schools estimates the cost of remedial education to states and students at around $2.3 billion each year.
▪ Compounding the cost is the fact that remedial students are more likely to drop out of college without a degree. Less than 50 percent of remedial students complete their recommended remedial courses.
▪ Less than 25 percent of remedial students at community colleges earn a certificate or degree within eight years.
▪Students in remedial reading or math have particularly dismal chances of success. A U.S. Department of Education study found that 58 percent of students who do not require remediation earn a bachelor’s degree, compared to only 17 percent of students enrolled in remedial reading and 27 percent of students enrolled in remedial math.
Other Fast Facts
▪The need for remediation is widespread. When considering all first-time undergraduates, studies have found anywhere from 28 percent to 40 percent of students enroll in at least one remedial course. When looking at only community college students, several studies have found remediation rates surpassing 50 percent.
▪Nontraditional adults comprise a significant portion of remedial students. Adults who have been out of high school for some time and are returning to college to earn a degree or receive job training often need to take remedial courses to brush up on their math, reading or writing skills. More than 42 million Americans ages 18 to 64 do not hold a postsecondary degree and would likely need remediation if they pursued one.
▪ Low-income, Hispanic and African-American students are more likely to need remediation than their wealthier white peers. Forty-one percent of Hispanic students and 42 percent of African-American students require remediation, compared to 31 percent of white students.
▪ Students are not testing at college-ready levels on national assessments. Only 25 percent of students who took the ACT met the test’s readiness benchmarks in all four subjects (English, reading, math and science) in 2012. A mere 5 percent of African Americans and 13 percent of Hispanics met the readiness benchmarks in all four subjects.
THE NEW COMMENTS PROCESS
To make comments, you will need to register. You can register under your real name or use a 'screen' name. This way, people will be able to follow comments and make comments back and forth to each other. If you choose to use a 'screen name' no one will know your true identity. In either case, no email addresses will be available to anyone. It is an automated process. If you have questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You currently are not logged in, please LOGIN to post comments.