Ohio Public Colleges and Universities Taking the Reins on Remedial Courses

Assistant Editor, Wintergreen Orchard House

Jan   2013



If you’ve ever had to take a mandatory remedial English, math, or writing course in college, you know that there are better ways to spend your precious (and expensive) credit hours. Well, high school students in Ohio who plan on attending an in-state public college or university may be in luck. As of January 3, 2013, all public colleges and universities of Ohio have implemented remediation-free standards for college-level English, writing, math, and science courses. According to an Ohio Higher Education statement, about 41% of all public high school students entering a public college or university in Ohio were required to take at least one English or math remedial course.

The argument is that these classes take up time for students who should be learning more in-depth material as well as resources for the colleges and universities. These mandatory courses are often a result of entering freshmen testing poorly during admission exams for a particular subject, forcing them into taking a no-credit class on material they should have been taught in high school.

By these new standards adopted by the Inter-University Council of Ohio, high school students will need to meet certain standardized test requirements in order to avoid remedial courses in college, regardless of a low admission exam score. The standard will require students to have minimum ACT scores of 18 in English, 21 in Reading, and 22 in Math and for those taking SAT Reasoning, minimum scores of 430 in Writing, 450 in Reading, and 520 in Math.

What Ohio public colleges and universities are attempting to do is create benchmarks for high school students so that they know what level they need to be at academically before entering college in order to avoid taking unnecessary remedial courses. The Ohio public college and university system is also finding that students who need to take remedial courses are often less likely to finish college on time or at all, and end up spending more money than is necessary. The universities see remedial courses as a waste of time for students who should enter college with sufficient basic knowledge to begin taking college-level classes and earning credits immediately. Colleges and universities are also using a great deal of resources, such as classroom space, professors, and teaching assistants to operate these classes, all of which could be put toward better use.

The state of Ohio has taken an ongoing problem with its graduating high school seniors and possibly found a solution to alleviate the issue. Other states across the country are experiencing similar issues with smaller budgets, unprepared students, and limited resources.

Would you like to see your state adopt similar standards for remedial courses to better make use of public college and university funds? Leave your thoughts below! 

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About Kristen Healy

Kristen Healy

Kristen is an Assistant Editor at Wintergreen Orchard House, a sub-division of Carnegie Communications, where she manages data for Midwestern colleges and universities. She graduated in 2010 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a double major in Journalism and Communication and a minor in Political Science. She is psyched about blogging about Public Colleges and Universities seeing as she is a proud product of one. She hopes that her four years at the Massachusetts state flagship campus will help her to bring new light to a broad range of topics that can relate to attending a public college or university. Her college career was spent writing for the news section of UMass’s Daily Collegian, volunteering at the university television studio, and enjoying the sites and activities of downtown Amherst. Kristen loves to travel and spent part of her junior year studying abroad in Galway, Ireland, where she gained perspective of what it is like to attend a large university in another country. She hopes her experiences in public higher education will help guide readers through their own college journeys!

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