As you may know, Chancellor Timothy White created an executive order that prevents all CSUs from having remedial classes with the reason being that students should not have to pay tuition for courses that do not count towards their degree. Instead, for students who do need remediation based off a holistic measure, they will need to take the general ed math course appropriate for their major along with a support class. Read more about it here: https://www.calstate.edu/eo/EO-1110.html
Here is a little roadmap example for what Fresno State used to do:
|Fall 2018||Spring 2019||Fall 2019|
|Students who do not need remediation||GE Math|
|Students who need remediation but scored close to passing in their Entry-level Math Exam||Math 4R (Intermediate Algebra)||GE Math|
|Students who need remediation and scored low in their Entry-level Math Exam||Math 1RA (Intermediate Algebra Part 1)||Math 1RB (Intermediate Algebra Part 2)||GE Math|
Now, all students have the opportunity to take GE Math in their first semester, but for students who do not meet the holistic measure, they will need to take their GE Math with a support class but can still finish their GE math course in one semester.
Though this sounds good in theory, keeping in mind the students’ time and tuition, it is incredibly scary that colleges cannot teach remedial courses because of the Chancellor’s thought that “Rigorous high school preparatory experiences in general education written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning prepare prospective CSU students for academic success.” From experience, some students need the foundational background necessary to be successful in higher courses and we would be doing a disservice if we think it can all be done in one semester. Rather than splitting up 3 hours a week in the Fall and 3 hours in the Spring, we are putting 5-6 hours a week of math in one semester.
I do admit that everyone does NOT need intermediate algebra skills. The general population will not care if students don’t know how to divide polynomial expressions. What the general population needs is number sense, and unfortunately there isn’t a course for that here, so if I were to change something, I would still have students take a number sense class as their remedial class.
Additionally, graduate students who used to be able to teach their own classes will not have that experience anymore because all graduate students will need to teach these support classes, which is more of a recitation/workshop class than anything. When I was a graduate student, I was grateful for having the opportunity to teach my own classes and that definitely prepared me for job interviews and my current job.
I’m optimistic that this provides a more equitable education by giving students support classes (if they need it) on classes that they are required to take (and at least for my case, important for their major), but we will see what happens. Either way, it is out of our hands so let’s do the best we can with it.