Open Access May Not Mean Anyone Can Come

The Teacher’s Edge has a discussion, by Maureen Dolan, on what community colleges are doing to cut costs. This impacts access, obviously.

Chicago’s community college system is considering putting an end to offering remedial courses, a move that would limit community college accessibility for prospective students whose reading, writing or math skills show they aren’t prepared for college-level work.

Education Week magazine reported last week that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley cited the high cost of remedial programs as a reason to cut them. Daley suggested the money spent on remedial courses might be better spent at alternative high schools to get students’ skills up to college-level.

Of course, you cut classes, you are also cutting the work of the college. The same article talks of North Idaho College’s remedial courses and says these classes “represent 9 percent of the total credits received by students at the college.”

Yes, remedial courses cost money. Yes, it is important to save money. But if the students, particularly returning students, can’t take the class at a college, will they take it anywhere?

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