When students enroll in community college, they first must take an assessment test to determine their ability to succeed in college-level courses. If a student doesn't achieve a certain score on these assessment tests, he must take remedial courses, which are designed to give students the knowledge and skills they need to enroll in the college-level courses. Some students can bypass remedial courses if they score well on Advanced Placement exams, the SAT or the ACT.
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education estimates that 60 percent of new college students need remedial courses, despite meeting all the other requirements for enrollment. Some students may need remedial courses because they were not adequately prepared for college study through their high-school curriculum. Older students may need remedial courses because they need a refresher on information they may have learned years ago. Some community colleges do not offer credit for these courses. Even if schools do offer credit, students may not be able to transfer the credit to a four-year university. However, the remedial courses will allow them to take the next appropriate level of coursework without having to retest.
- National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education: Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving College Readiness through Coherent State Policy
- The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Second-Chance Club: Inside a Semester of Remedial English
- National Conference of State Legislatures: Reforming Remedial Education
Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.