Remedial education or basic skills is education designed to help students gain academic skills, needed to be placed at a college level. Providing students with remedial education has always been a widespread problem. In 1849, the University of Wisconsin was the first school to offer remedial education programs. In the twentieth century, remedial education was only offered at junior colleges. (Breneman and Haarlow,10) In community colleges today, over fifty percent of students are placed in remedial education courses. Students are often required to take more than one basis skills course since they are underprepared. According to the U.S Department of Education, only thirty-two percent of students leave high school prepared and qualified for a four-year college. (Greene and Forster,3) Students are leaving high school with out the basic skills needed for college. When students enroll in college unprepared, the college must provide remedial education. However, the consequences of remedial education outweigh the benefits. With students being required to enroll in so many basic skill courses, it will prolong the time it takes for them to earn a degree. Students enrolled in remedial education courses can take up to eight years to graduate or they drop out. According to the San Bernardino Valley College website, approximately only fifty percent of students pass the basic skills courses. With so many students not passing the course, they either drop out of college or are discouraged. Remedial education hurts both students and the institution at California Community colleges and should, therefore, enforce admission requirements.
First, students do not transition smoothly from high school to college. Approximately forty-two percent of high school graduates are placed in remedial courses. Since community colleges admit all students even if they are not prepared, it undervalues the importance of a high school diploma.