California Introduces New Tool to Help College Students Graduate

University of California

In an effort to provide students with better resources while in school, and to help them graduate faster, California colleges are now introducing co-requisite courses that essentially act as for-credit remedial classes. Aside from helping students overcome educational barriers that prevent them from quickly getting into their field of study, the new program also the effect of helping students graduate faster, which in turn helps them save money on rising tuition costs.

Although many different courses have been adapted into co-requisite courses, there's still plenty of work to be done as far as CSU is concerned. In fact, their goal is to try and move all of their remedial courses into a co-requisite program by the end of 2018. As it stands, CSU currently has a roughly 19% graduation rate for its incoming freshmen, and they are eager to bolster that number as much as possible. With this new plan in place, it is estimated that it could improve CSU's graduation rate by bringing it up to as much as 40%.

A large part of the problem is that many of CSU's incoming students are actually in need of remedial work. It's estimated that as much of a third of all incoming freshmen into CSU's program will require at least one remedial class before being able to get into the primary work of their major. CSU's Dominguez Hills campus, for instance, has worked with many low-income families in the past, and has acted as the main area for experimenting with a new remedial course model. By integrating co-requisite classes into their programs, they've found that it has had a profound effect on the lives of low-income students who are truly committed to their education.

For comparison, the old remedial model saw roughly 60% of students pass their remedial classes, whereas the new model has seen that number increase to roughly 80%. All it took for this increase in efficiency was a more focused program and the introduction of credits so as to not make students feel like they were wasting their time playing catch-up.

It's worth noting that this system is not entirely unique either, as other states have begun to adopt similar measures as well. Still, if California adopts this program across its vast network of college campuses, it will be interesting to see what impact it might have on the state in general, as well as the lives of the students who attend its schools.