SOMERS, Wis. – University of Wisconsin System President Kevin P. Reilly has announced that he will be appointing a task force to examine remedial education efforts across the UW System.
“The national data clearly indicate that the number of college freshmen who are being placed into remedial classes is rising. Typically, this extends students’ time to degree as well as the overall cost of their college education. Neither of these outcomes is acceptable,” Reilly said. “In the UW System, we are committed to providing all of our students with the tools and support necessary for them to succeed.”
The task force will review the current Regent, System, and institutional policies relating to remedial education in the UW System. It will also review national studies on remedial education to identify best practices that might be implemented at UW institutions.
The percentage of students placed in remedial education in the UW System has been relatively constant the past five years, with 24.5% of UW freshmen in Fall 2012 requiring some form of remedial education. This figure is on par with national averages. Further breaking it down, 20.7% of UW freshmen in Fall 2012 required some math remediation, 9.9% required some English remediation, and 6.1% required both.
Data confirm that UW students who complete their required remedial education in their first year are, for the most part, as successful as students who did not require remedial education.
“We have a 23-year history of studying and tracking remedial education in the UW System,” said Mark Nook, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “With the data we have on student preparation and student success, we have a unique opportunity to build on that to more fully understand what works in what contexts, and what does not.”
“We will be tapping individuals from a variety of academic disciplines to participate on the task force,” Reilly said. “We will also ask the task force to engage faculty members who work in remedial education within the UW System in developing its final report.”
A current report on UW System’s remedial education will be presented at the December meeting of the Board of Regents. The task force will be charged with delivering its recommendations by the end of the 2013-14 academic year.