The study of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), reported in the May 8 article, Some remedial math classes unnecessary at community colleges, raises important questions about college and career readiness. The study accurately reports that more than half of all students entering community colleges require remedial courses. At Miami Dade College (MDC), 72 percent of entering students require remedial support.
The success of these students in college and the world of work is vital to this community and those across the nation.
Business leaders in every major field, including occupational and technical fields, have made it clear that college-level skills are required.
Without these skills, workforce research confirms that earning an income above the poverty line is very unlikely.
The NCEE report offers dangerous, one-size-fits-all conclusions, suggesting that students don’t need remedial courses, particularly in mathematics. The recommendations of the report are drawn from research with seven community colleges out of more than 1,100 across the nation. The report ignores the work of colleges like MDC that are making tremendous strides in helping underprepared students to succeed. As Dr. Lenore Rodicio, MDC’s Vice Provost for Student Achievement, stated in the article, “The key is matching the right student to the right strategy.”
At MDC, we hold students to high expectations and rigorous standards, contrary to the broad and erroneous conclusion of the NCEE report. And we provide the developmental support to help students discover their potential.
These students need to be successful, for their families and for the good of the community.
Eduardo J. Padrón, president, Miami Dade College, Miami