The State University of New York spends $70 million a year on remedial education for its students. Twenty percent—$93 million—of financial aid for community-college students goes for remedial classes, according to SUNY.
The remedial classes cost money, don’t provide college credits and lengthen the period of time and cost for students to earn degrees, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said in a statement. More than 40 percent of SUNY students studying for an associate’s degree take remedial courses their first year. Sixty-four percent of them return for a second year of college.
The chancellor announced today that SUNY has formed the Remediation Task Force, which will work with K-12 school districts across New York to figure out how to prepare more students for college-level work.
“Our reliance on remediation can only be effectively addressed by an agreement on behalf of everyone who has a stake in a child’s education – from early educators to institutions of higher education and government leaders – to accept a shared responsibility for maintaining the education pipeline,” she said.
The panel includes nationally recognized researchers, employees of the state Education Department, college faculty, community-college officials, leaders in kindergarten through grade 12, and students. It does not include anyone from Putnam, Rockland or Westchester counties. Johanna Duncan-Poitier, SUNY’s senior vice chancellor, community colleges and the education pipeline, chairs the committee.
The panel will develop an action plan to “strengthen the education pipeline,” reduce college students’ need for remediation and help more of them stay in college and graduate, Duncan-Poitier said in a statement. It will make recommendations on expanding effective resources and implement new ones, such as summer boot camp, improving student advising services, and re-evaluating financial-aid programs to make sure remedial courses are cost-effective.
The task force will present its findings to Zimpher and the SUNY Board of Trustees by the end of the year.
At the request of the Legislature, the university system is conducting a study that will provide a snapshot of student preparedness and remediation.