Remedial course enrollment up from 2010

GVL / Robert Mathews
Nick Benthem (left) explains a math equation to Randi Conkin (right) at the Math Center in Mackinac.

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GVL / Robert Mathews Nick Benthem (left) explains a math equation to Randi Conkin (right) at the Math Center in Mackinac.

Lizzy Balboa

The number of Grand Valley State University students enrolled in remedial classes is up from last year, but those numbers are still lower than historical enrollment.

Of the 3,865 freshmen on campus, 14 percent are enrolled in at least one remedial-level course, with 4.1 percent taking more than one.

“The percentage of new freshmen enrolling in one or more remedial courses was 14 percent, up slightly from last year but very typical of the last four incoming classes and significantly lower than the rates from 2000 to 2007,” said Phillip Batty, director of GVSU Institutional Analysis.

He said 78 percent of the 2010 freshmen in remedial courses finished the year in good academic standing.

“We do everything we can to help students get their GPAs up so that they can stay at the university,” said Nancy Giardina, assistant vice president of academic affairs.

Although the courses are meant to review high school material, they are not easy, Giardina said. The courses are open to every student regardless of class standing or academic history, but the majority of students enrolled are freshmen. Some courses, such as ENG 099, College Efficiency and Reading Training, and WRT 098, Writing with a Purpose, have a freshman enrollment of more than 98 percent.

“The content is designed so it can help students really jump-start and be ready for the content in 100-level courses,” Giardina said. “Just as with every course, there’s an expectation and a high standard of academic challenge.”

No one is required to take remedial courses, but the university recommends students with poor ACT scores self-select into them.

To further ensure students’ academic success, the university is pilot testing a new academic resource this fall called the North C Success Center, a collaboration between the Housing Department, the Student Academic Success Center and the Counseling Center.

The North C Success Center offers professional advising, career counseling and tutoring for undecided students.

In addition to the new success center, other academic assistance programs at GVSU include the Student Academic Success Center, Tutoring Center, Structured Learning Assistance programs, Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors, MS3 and others.

These services are available to students at no cost.

GVSU programs have partnered with local school districts to offer high school students academic assistance, intended to prepare students for a college education and help them learn how to apply to college. For more information on how to get academic assistance, contact the Student Academic Success Center at [email protected] or 616-331-3588.

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