The college implemented boot camps in summer 2012 to help students who initially place into developmental courses gather the skills they need to pass the placement exam. Half of the students who participated in the boot camp tested one level higher than in their initial exam, Rodicio said. About 25 percent of these students placed out of developmental courses.
The college has conducted several pilot studies to circumvent students taking unnecessary remedial courses and diminishing the time they spend in each. These reforms will be implemented full-scale for first-year students beginning fall 2013. “The key is matching the right student to the right strategy, and that’s what we are trying to do here,” Rodicio said.
The college wants to cut down the time the students spend on unnecessary topics for their future career. Instead, it will match students with the most relevant sequence of remedial classes for their area of study, she said. New legislation for the 2014 school year will allow schools to rely not only on placement exams but students’ high school GPAs and transcripts for college placement.
It’s really looking at what each individual student needs to be successful in college, Rodicio said. Some will need the remedial courses and some will need a reformed version of remedial instruction.
The research released Tuesday was conducted at seven community colleges in seven states. The National Center on Education and the Economy picked the states to be representative of the nation — rich and poor, urban and rural — and then picked the colleges within those states at random, Tucker said. He said that he had agreed not to name them.
Miami Herald writer Chabeli Herrera contributed to this report. Email: email@example.com; Twitter: @reneeschoof