Coaching the Developmental Student to Success in Math

As many as 1.7 million first-year students will take a remedial course to learn the math, reading, or writing skills they need to enroll in a credit-earning college-level course. Of all remedial courses most students are remediated in math skills. Due to a variety of factors — class dynamics, curricula, instruction,  skill-level, academic support, financial standing, life — retaining and passing students in a remedial course is a major concern.

Colorado Community College System conducted a longitudinal remedial math study that tracked remedial math students for 4 years. They found that though the majority of students required remedial math, math had the lowest pass rate of all remedial classes.

  • Only 8% of students who enrolled in remedial math had graduated after four years
  • Unlike the findings of a national study, the majority exited the sequence due to withdrawal or failure to pass a course, rather than completing and failing to enroll in the next course
  • More than 40% of CCCS remedial math completers did not attempt college math

How can we equip these students with the tools to stick with and pass a remedial class? You’ll know from my blog earlier this week that ideally I believe more resources should be used at the K12-level to address learning difficulties before students graduate from high school and enter college. However, eliminating the need for remediation will not happen over night. What can we do today for the students who are graduating from high school with the dream of graduating from college, but who don’t have the skills to do so?

Academic Coaching promotes student accountability, motivation, and follow-through. It asks the student to not only do their homework, but to make a commitment to studying, getting a tutor, finding a support system, and passing the class. A faculty member with Academic Coaching skills asks the struggling developmental student powerful questions that puts the student in the driver’s seat of their own learning and asks them to invest in their own success.  LifeBound is at the National Association of Developmental Education (NADE) Conference this week sharing the benefits of using Academic Coaching with developmental students with faculty from around the country. Today, Maureen Breeze is giving the session Academic Coaching for Hybrid, Online, and Self-Paced Math to train faculty to use academic coaching skills to inspire students to persevere and foster success in any level or mode of math class.

If you’re at the NADE conference is Denver, make sure to come say hello to LifeBound in the exhibit hall.

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