Why Do 1/3 of W.Va. H.S. Grads Need Remedial Classes in College?

Dec 13, 2017

Aerial photo of Logan High School football field. Logan County had the highest rate of students taking remedial classes in college -- 61 percent.

About one in three West Virginia high school grads needs to take remedial classes when they go to college – and that number is growing. Why are so many new college students so unprepared?

Also on this week’s podcast, we’ll break down the results of the Alabama Senate race. If a Democrat can win there, what does that mean for West Virginia’s congressional races?

There’s a new report out showing that almost one in three West Virginia high school grads must take remedial classes when they arrive at our state’s colleges.

In some places, it’s much worse - 61 percent of all Logan County high school grads who go to college have to take remedial classes.

There’s some good news. The West Virginia Higher Education Commission, which completed this report, has been setting up this co-requisite model.

Before, remedial classes didn’t count toward your degree – which made it a lot harder and more expensive for these students to graduate. Now, these students are able to take remedial classes that are integrated into entry-level classes – so they get credit. And in general, college retention rates are improving.

Also, West Virginia has a relatively good high school graduate

ionrate – about 89 or 90 percent. But is that part of the problem?

Welcome to “The Front Porch,” where we tackle the tough issues facing Appalachia the same way you talk with your friends on the porch.

Hosts include WVPB Executive Director and recovering reporter Scott Finn; liberal columnist Rick Wilson with the American Friends Service Committee, and guest host Jessi Troyan, Ph.D. economist with the free-market Cardinal Institute in Charleston.

An edited version of “The Front Porch” airs Fridays at 4:50 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s radio network, and the full version is available at wvpublic.org and as a podcast as well.

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