Va. Community Colleges Dive Headfirst Into Remedial-Math Redesign

Va. Community Colleges Dive Headfirst Into Remedial-Math Redesign 1

Jay Premack for The Chronicle

A student works on the Pythagorean theorem during a remedial-math class at Northern Virginia Community College's Alexandria campus. The Virginia Community College system is using a new approach that allows students to focus only on topics that they tested poorly on.

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close Va. Community Colleges Dive Headfirst Into Remedial-Math Redesign 1

Jay Premack for The Chronicle

A student works on the Pythagorean theorem during a remedial-math class at Northern Virginia Community College's Alexandria campus. The Virginia Community College system is using a new approach that allows students to focus only on topics that they tested poorly on.

Developmental education is the bane of community colleges. It costs institutions millions of dollars every year to educate students who come to their campuses unprepared for the rigors of college-level courses.

Nearly one-third of first-year college students require remedial education in reading, writing, or mathematics—and the percentages are even higher at most community colleges. The need to get those students up to speed immediately has emerged as a major obstacle to meeting