Fifty-five percent of new enrollees at MSC required remedial work

More than half of the first-time students entering Mesa State College in the 2007-08 academic year required some type of remedial course work, according to a study released last week by
the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Of the 1,120 first-time students admitted to Mesa State, 55 percent were assigned to remedial classes, the report said. That percentage put the school near the top of the list of four-year public institutions in the state. Colorado State University-Pueblo and Adams State College were the only schools with a higher percentage of students assigned to remedial classes.

The state average for students requiring remedial course work is 21 percent at four-year schools and 53 percent for two-year public colleges, the study said.

Mesa State’s percentage is inflated because students requiring remediation at Western Colorado Community College, a two-year school, are included with the four-year students at Mesa State, college spokeswoman Dana Nunn said.

An estimated $213,511 of the state’s general fund allocation to Mesa State funded remedial course work, the report said. About $14.6 million of the state’s allocation to higher education in Colorado went to remedial education.

Gov. Bill Ritter said Thursday it was unfortunate that so much of the state’s money went to remedial classes when the funds could go to financial aid or research.

Nunn said the college sends professors to Central High School to provide remedial math instruction to struggling juniors and seniors without charging the students for college tuition.

“That’s just one of the things we’re doing to address the problem,” Nunn said.

According to the study, of the 172 Central High graduates in 2007 who attended Colorado colleges, half were assigned to remedial courses.

Remedial course work is in either math reading, writing or some combination of the three.

The trend statewide showed a shortfall in math preparation for students entering four-year institutions, with 44 percent of students who needed remedial course work requiring remedial math.

Mesa State ducked under the state percentage with about 35 percent of entering students needing remedial math courses. However, 23 percent of Mesa State students needing remedial course work required all three subjects, compared to 14 percent across the state.

The percentage of students requiring remedial classes at Mesa State has hovered between 50 and 55 percent since 2005, the study said.

About 48 percent of the students attending Mesa State are from Mesa County, according to Mesa State’s 2008 census.


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