50% of College Freshman Must Take Remedial Classes

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- What are the chances that your child will need to take remedial classes as a college freshman, a new study says there's a fifty-fifty shot.  It can be hard enough to enter the college world and for many students they're starting with a slight disadvantage.

"A lot of the students have missed getting some of the foundational aspects, particularly mathematics seems to be a challenge," said Dr. Lynita Cooksey.

For students who score less than a 19 on their ACT, remedial college classes can be in their future.  The big question is why?

"I don't think that we can specifically say they're not getting what they need at school there's a lot behind that it's the homework that they do and the extra type of activities that help to improve those skills," said Cooksey.

Every school in the state and every student are different.  Cooksey said in addition to the education the students get in the classroom the amount of help they get at home can make a difference too.  If they get to college and do need extra help it can make a difference.

"If we can spend a little time at the front end bringing them up to where they're going to be more successful it will pay off," said Cooksey.

And you can't start too early.

"I think working with the students at the elementary level, finding out their needs at that point and finding creative ways of teaching we'll see the benefit from that ten years from now," said Anthony Patterson, Chairman of Education Economic Development of Poinsett County.

Governor Mike Beebe has formed committees in every county across the state for communities to better prepare their youngest citizens for their futures.

"I think it's going to make school districts more aware that we do have some missing pieces in the puzzle that we may have to focus on some areas to make these students get up to the skill level they need to be to do college level work," said Cooksey.