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The remediation opportunity: writing articulation and collegiate discourse




Trujillo, Dana M., author
Souder, Donna, advisor
Eskew, Doug, committee member
Pettit, Sue, committee member

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Each year, almost half of America's new freshmen begin their college careers with an unpleasant surprise: the need to enroll in remedial classes. These classes, for which students do not earn college credit, are the result of under preparedness for college coursework in writing, reading, and/or mathematics. For students who have been out of formal education for a time, the remedial classes may be expected; but for many who just graduated from high school, the classes are totally unexpected. And here begins the remediation debate of why are the high school graduates unprepared and why do they have to take a classes that are not college level when they were accepted for admission? Why do they have to take additional classes to earn a college degree? While the remedial requirement is often state-mandated, savvy institutions have come to view the remedial courses as opportunities to prepare their new students, within their classrooms, with the specific skills they want them to have as new freshmen. The goal of writing remediation courses should be to write effectively and to learn the discourse of the institution. Successful courses in writing remediation must have high expectations, qualified teachers, small class sizes, a limited number of remedial courses, and the philosophy of "every student a writer." Statistics show that students enrolled in remedial courses who successfully complete them have similar graduation rates as the students not required to enroll in remedial courses. Like it or not, remediation is an important aspect of higher education in America, no matter how much it is disliked by institutions of higher education, policy makers, students, and parents for prolonging graduation and adding more requirements to a degree without college credit. Ultimately, writing should be integrated into the K-12 grade curriculum to adequately prepare students for college-level writing, with the curriculum articulated from kindergarten through postsecondary education. Until this becomes a reality, remedial courses should be embraced as the opportunity they present to institutions of higher education.


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English composition


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