At the collegiate level, most students should be academically prepared for the course load for which they have signed up. Some students however, are still a bit behind others for a multitude of reasons.
One of those reasons is how high schools and community colleges do not satisfactorily prepare their students for a college program.
An article released by the Washington Times reports “Only 25 percent (of all public high school graduates) cleared all of ACT’s college preparedness benchmarks, while 75 percent likely will spend part of their freshman year brushing up on high-school-level course work.”
Upon exiting high school, an average 70 percent of all graduates plan to continue their educations in two- or four-year institutions. And according to the mentioned article, 75 percent of these students are not academically mature enough to handle a college curriculum.
There are students many that opt to attend community college before entering a university because of lower costs and to get their so called “ducks in a row”.
In Virginia there is a university rule that a student is guaranteed admission if they complete a community college associate’s degree program. A specific GPA, determined by each university, also comes into play.
To earn guaranteed admission into both Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia, a student from a community college would need a GPA of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.
Community college students can still be ill-prepared for a university course load though. It looks as though community colleges have become a place for remediation of high school concepts, rather than a continuation of those same concepts.
Writer Jay Matthews states, “All of the local two-year colleges I surveyed were aware that new research is forcing them to justify remediation. Half to two thirds of their incoming students must pay for no-credit catch-up courses before they are allowed to take credit courses in those subjects.”
This not only proves that some community college students are not academically prepared to attend a four year university, but that public high schools cannot always prepare students to attend the community college classes. This is quite sad.
To fix this major issue, I propose that public high schools begin actually teaching material instead of giving out busy work. High school level teachers need to prepare better academically for a college level course load, and need to come up with more productive and efficient lessons to help students retain information.
Obviously, they cannot help the students that do not want to try, but most of those students will not be attending universities in the end.
In improving high school programs, more students attending community college and universities will not need remedial courses to relearn high school concepts.
The foundations set for a student are much more important than people think. It is time to rethink student preparedness for college level courses.