Complete College America recently published a report entitled Corequisite Remediation: Spanning the Completion Divide: Breakthrough Results Fulfilling The Promise of College Access for Underprepared Students. The report outlines the issues facing students who start college needing prerequisite course work that does not count towards a degree. According to the report, only 20 percent of community college students enrolled in remediation complete the introductory (gateway) courses within two years.

Of those, only 17% of students requiring remediation will end up graduating according to the report. While many of these students succeed in the remedial courses, they don’t continue their education, many due to lack of money or being discouraged that they haven’t received credit for the work they’ve done.

Community Colleges throughout the country are working to solve this problem through Corequisite Remediation. This initiative allows students to enroll directly into college-level courses and receive academic support alongside their regular classes. Thus, students are immediately on the path to graduation but receive support to successfully complete core requirements.

Corequisite Best Practices

In 2011, Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) implemented a corequisite program that combined the last course in the development Math sequence with the first college-level course.

Initially, their efforts faltered. Success rates in this combined course were low and many students struggled to earn a passing grade. By using the data available through ZogoTech, SWTJC saw an opportunity for improvement and quickly adapted, choosing to offer the corequisite course only to those students with a high probability of success.

While identifying students in need of remediation at enrollment is simple enough—placement test scores provide the information—tracking them through the progression of their coursework to determine current remediation level is a challenge for most institutions. ZogoTech’s built-in metrics enabled SWTJC to easily identify students with a high probability of success in the corequisite course using  grade in the previous developmental course and scores on the most recent placement exams. As a result, course success rates in the corequisite course improved significantly.

The answers are in the data.