Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 17, 2012

Report: Many Indiana students not ready for college

INDIANAPOLIS —  Indiana high schools are sending thousands of students off to college without them being college-ready, according to a new report released by the Indiana Commission on Higher Education.

The report, released Monday, shows almost one-third of all Indiana high school graduates who attended the state’s public colleges and universities had to take remedial courses in math and/or English before they could take college-level courses.

The report offers a snapshot of almost every public and private high school in Indiana, showing which schools graduated more students ready for college than others.

Available online at www.che.in.gov (under College Readiness Reports), it shows information for 2010 high school graduates who were enrolled in public colleges and universities in Indiana for the 2010-2011 school year.  

It also shows that even students who earned the college-prep “Core 40” degree –  which requires three years of high school math and four years of high school English – needed help: 39 percent had to take remedial courses in college to catch up on what they should have learned in high school.

The report also shows that 7 percent of Indiana high school students who graduated with an academic honors diploma ­ the highest level earned – had to enroll in remedial courses once they arrived at college. Those numbers equate to money: College students who have to take remedial courses get no college credit for the coursework but have to pay the same tuition rate they’d pay for credit-earning courses that gets them closer to a degree.

That means delay and more debt for students — two critical factors that keep college students from completing their degree on time,  said Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers.

“What we know is that too many people in Indiana who are entering college are not succeeding and not graduating,” Lubbers said. “Too many of them are coming in not prepared for college-level work.”

Lubbers said College Readiness Reports are broken down by school and posted online for a reason.  “Parents need to be asking, ‘Is my student college-ready?’ ”

The answer to that question is too often “no,” said

Jeff Watt, an associate professor of mathematical sciences at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Watt, named the 2010 Indiana Professor of the Year, said the reasons are multi-fold.  

Math, in particular, is a tough subject to retain if not practiced regularly, he said. That’s why many adult students returning to college after being away for years need remedial math coursework, he said.

But recent high school graduates also struggle to retain what they’ve learned, he said. He and his colleagues have found that students who fail to take a math class in their senior year of high school come to college almost a full year behind those students who do take math as high school seniors.

That time and learning lapse may be an unintended consequence of how high school math is taught in Indiana, he said. Students in 7th and 8th grade can take high school math while in middle school and earn their high school math credits while doing so. So many high school students who are bound for college, he said, end up taking their final math credit as high school school freshmen or sophomores. And what they do learn may be quickly lost.

“Math is like a foreign language,” Watt said. “You lose proficiency with time.”

Math is the area where incoming college students seem to be struggling the most. Eighteen percent of the incoming college freshmen tracked in the college-readiness report issued by the Higher Education Commission needed a remedial math course. Only 3 percent needed a remedial English course; 11 percent needed both.

College-readiness is increasingly the metric that schools are being measured by. As part of his education reform agenda, President Barack Obama is pushing high schools to have all their students college- or career-ready by 2020.

The Indiana Department of Education is pushing the same goal. In a statement released by the DOE, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said the DOE’s mission “is to ensure all students are college- and career-ready when they graduate from high school.”

But he acknowledges the state has a way to go to get there. “This report provides useful information that underscores the need for increased collaboration and alignment between our K-12 and higher education systems.”

Maureen Hayden can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 Wakarusa Musical 3 'A Kid's Life' portrays sudden techno loss WAKARUSA — The young people of our present day society don’t remember ever having lived their lives without some element of electronic gadgetry becoming involved. For them, it would be difficult to fathom the possibility of a world “off the grid.” So the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Wakarusa Elementary School will offer a comedic and chaotic interpretation of such a dilemma with their upcoming musical “A Kid’s Life.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 stress relief 03 Furry pals help GC students with dog days of finals GOSHEN - Goshen College students took a break from preparing for final exams to hangout with some four-legged friends Monday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 FF spring play_3547 Fairfield students to present Oscar Wilde classic BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sheriff Brad Rogers_0657 Sheriff travels to Nev. ranch in fed dispute Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers has weighed in on a controversy surrounding a Nevada rancher, and visited the scene of the struggle.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140209 snow storm 05 Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup BASEBALL Falcons garner road win The Fairfield Falcons posted a 5-4 victory Tuesday evening at Rochester. Dustin Everage (three innings), Andrew Bobeck (three) and Austin Christner (one) pitched for the winners. Everage struck out three to earn the

    April 23, 2014

  • Akela.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Available cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These loving animals are looking for permanent homes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0423 BC IN Common Core Indiana panel approves new school standards

    A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new math and English standards set to replace the Common Core in classrooms this fall.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The week in photos

    April 22, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers