Graphic
|

A Plan to Reduce the Number of Academically Unprepared College Students

by Elisabeth Barnett and Elizabeth Ganga

With the increasing focus on preparing students for college and career — not just getting them through high school with a diploma — many states have turned to transition courses to fill in the gaps in students’ high school education and get them ready for college.

The courses are designed to catch up high school seniors whose 11th grade test results indicate that they are unlikely to be up to college-level work.

If those students can avoid remedial classes in college, research shows they are much more likely to stay in school and earn a college degree.

In part, the Common Core State Standards and other similar standards are driving the change, with curriculum pointed toward college- and career-readiness by the end of 11th grade.
Though transition courses were offered in 29 states as of late 2012, early research on the effectiveness of the courses shows mixed results, and there is still a lot to learn about how to design the courses to maximize the success of students once they get to college.

To address the knowledge gap, the Community College Research Center (CCRC) is completing a multi-year study of transition courses and convened a group of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from seven states to review what we know and what we need to know about transition courses given their widespread adoption as a solution to a lack of college readiness.

CCRC issued an overview outlining the state of knowledge about the courses based on the research and the meeting earlier this year. Along with that, a report discusses the implementation of transition courses in four states — California, Tennessee, New York, and West Virginia. Forthcoming papers will include findings on the impact of transition courses on student outcomes in New York City and West Virginia.

If students can avoid remedial classes in college, research shows they are much more likely to stay in school and earn a college degree.

If students can avoid remedial classes in college, research shows they are much more likely to stay in school and earn a college degree.

These publications highlight some key questions for researchers and educational leaders. Most fundamentally, what kind of college readiness are we talking about? Should the courses prepare students for placement tests or get them ready for the work loads and expectations of college classes? Or both? Should practical information about college be built in? The approaches to these sometimes competing priorities will affect the design of the courses and the ultimate outcomes for students.

Another question as yet unanswered by the research is which students should be targeted. Should enrollment be limited to students who are nearly college-ready or be open to all? Should the courses enroll students who don’t plan to go to college?

Though more needs to be learned, a few lessons are already clear. The publications highlight  design flaws in some existing programs, including no built-in way for students to place into college-level courses, via either an exit exam or agreement to allow automatic placement with a passing grade.

Without an agreement with the local college that the courses will satisfy remediation requirements, students may still have to take a placement test when they get to college. At the same time, a lack of feedback on how their students do in college leaves transition course instructors unsure of whether the courses are effective or need to change.

Collaboration between high schools and colleges, already strong in many states, can solve some of these problems, helping to ensure that the curriculum is up to college standards and that there is a clear mechanism for placing out of remedial classes.

Despite the challenges, some high school to college transition courses have been found to make a difference for students, allowing more of them to achieve proficiency in basic skills, place into college-level courses, or do better when they get there.

Tennessee, New York City, and California all saw positive results in local studies. But more research is needed in order to know whether transition courses will fulfill their promise in helping students.

Short URL: http://www.adjunctnation.com/?p=7658

Leave a Reply

Keep in Touch With AdjunctNation

Graphic Graphic Graphic

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Archives

Graphic
Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

From the Archive

  • Tufts U Part-time Faculty Renegotiating Contract –The Boston SEIU Local Poised to Pass Barnard’s $9K Per Course Pay

    Since the adjunct faculty at Tufts formed a union in 2013, their contract with Tufts has become a model for other schools in the Greater Boston area and across the country. In 2014 according to an article published by AdjunctNation, the Tufts part-time faculty union negotiated its first contract that, among other gains, hiked per course pay from $5,115 to $7,300 per course, a 22 percent increase. The union represents 200 adjunct faculty.

  • Fresh from DC Successes SEIU Tries to Muscle Into AFT/NEA Territory in Pacific Northwest

    by John Gillie In a case that could set a national precedent, Pacific Lutheran University is taking legal steps this week to block the formation of a union to represent contingent faculty members at the Parkland university. The university, which has held occasional conversations for months with representatives of those temporary faculty members, has filed […]

  • Distance Education: Getting Started

    by Jo Gibson Adjunct faculty have a wide comfort zone: they prepare lectures, monitor classroom discussion, devise tests, assign grades–no problem! However, even for faculty with wide-ranging professional skills and experience, on-line teaching can be a hard sell. Consider Dr. David Dutton [pseud.], professor and department chair. Aggressively pursuing additional work to supplement his income, […]

    This article is available for purchase for $1.00 if you do not have a subscription. If you do have a subscription, please [login] here to read the entire piece. If you do NOT have a subscription, please 
    Authorize.Net
    Authorize.Net processes AMEX, Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit card payments made online securely and safely. 
    Paypal Standard
    You do NOT need a PayPal account to use this payment method. PayPal allows credit card payments to be processed safely and securely. PayPal operates with credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts and PayPal accounts to make safe purchases online, without disclosing your credit card number or financial information. 

     Subscribe to our newsletter

    to create an account which you will use to access the article you wish to purchase and read.
  • New Hampshire Adjuncts Snub AAUP, AFT and NEA & Unionize With SEIU

    Adjunct professors at Plymouth State University (PSU) announced on Tuesday they have filed for an election at the Public Employees Labor Relations Board, which is the first step in forming a collective bargaining unit. The question on the ballot is whether the faculty is for or against organizing and becoming a part of a union […]

  • Tablet PCs Stake Out Higher Education

    by Paul McCloskey The new Tablet PCs from Microsoft and a host of PC manufacturers were announced with the usual coast-to-coast fanfare as the next big thing in personal computing. And while that is always the hope and the hype in such smash announcements, for the higher education community, it just might be true. That’s […]

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Graphic

Want to see your advertisement on
AdjunctNation.com? Click here.

Recently Commented

  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...
  • Freddi-Jo Bruschke: An excellent description of this editorial.