Alabama community college overhaul improves the odds for unprepared students
Before the redesign, Alabama’s community college applicants were placed in math and English courses based on standardized tests or placement tests. People who scored below certain thresholds were automatically put in developmental education courses, which could mean two or three semesters of remedial math or English before moving on to college-level courses and earning credit toward degrees.
A student could go through four courses of developmental English before making it to college-level courses.
A task force studying the problem in 2017 found those layers of developmental coursework were a barrier for many students, who would become discouraged and drop out, according to Brad Fricks, director of academic affairs for the community college system.
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