California State Universities will no longer require remedial classes in English and math for first-time freshmen. However, this new policy will not change Pierce’s transfer requirements.
The English placement test and the entry level math tests will not be used as a single measure of course placement for CSU freshmen. The new placements will be based on several factors including high school GPA, advanced placement scores, ACT and SAT scores.
The policy is an executive order by CSU Chancellor Timothy White and will be implemented in fall 2018. Students scoring below college math and English in the assessments, will be required to enroll in the Early Start Program during the summer, which offers remedial courses.
Removing remediation completely is CSU’s goal. The state has put pressure on CSU to graduate students sooner. Remedial courses add more time to a student’s time at a university.
According to Transfer Center Director Sunday Salter, this change shouldn’t have too much of an effect on prospective transfer students.
“We still are requiring our students to remediate to handle college-level coursework,” Salter said. “Ninety percent of our students assess below college levels. They need to prepare before they can handle the college rigor.”
To transfer, Pierce students have to pass a college-level math course. College math is still a CSU minimum admission requirement.
“Our goal is to prepare them for success after transfer. If that means they have to take some remediation classes to get there, that is what we are going to require,” Salter said.
Hans Johnson, the director of the Higher Education Center at the Public Policy Institute of California, said that high school performance indicates how well a student will perform in college. Due to outside factors, such as lack of sleep, students perform poorly on assessment tests and are often placed in remedial classes when they shouldn’t be.
“Using other measures will actually significantly reduce the number of students who are placed in remediation,” Johnson said.
California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, who hosts a weekly podcast, said during an interview, “Most students in remediation should not have been there.”
Freshmen will enroll in math and English classes appropriate to their major and skill level according to the college’s individual assessment. If they do not pass their classes, they will have to take the courses again.