Campus: CSU -- November 2, 1999

CSU Allocates $9 Million To 18 Campuses To Help High Schools Reduce Need For Remedial Education

The California State University and high schools throughout the state have received $9 million to establish or expand efforts to reduce the number of students who need remedial education. The CSU Chancellor's Office allocated the outreach funds, which are from the system's 1999/00 budget, to 18 CSU campuses to partner with high schools that send the CSU the most students in need of remediation in English or mathematics.

We are quite excited about the new, precedent-setting partnership with our colleagues in K-12," said James Rosser, president of Cal State L.A. and co-chair of the CSU-School Academic Preparatory Advisory Committee. "We are optimistic that we will be successful our joint endeavors to enhance student achievement, the quality of learning resources and the learning environment."

Each CSU campus receiving funds has committed English and mathematics faculty members to work regularly with faculty at partner high schools. They will provide trained CSU student tutors who will work with high school students to strengthen their basic English and mathematics proficiency skills. Other criteria for funding include: explaining how high schools content standards align with CSU expectations; committing university faculty to meet with high school teachers at least five hours a week for 30 weeks; and developing a quantitative assessment of the reduced need for remediation.

Most of the funding will support approximately 75 CSU faculty who will work with about 600 high school English and math teachers to:

  • Provide inservice training for high school teachers to clarify and align CSU and school standards

  • Develop more effective English and mathematics teaching methods

  • Administer and interpret diagnostic testing

  • Identify and share the best teaching practices; and to develop on-site, short-term courses at high schools.

The funding also will increase the number of CSU students tutoring in high schools, especially those considering teaching as a career.

"We hope these programs will make a significant difference in reducing the need for remedial education for incoming CSU freshmen by ensuring they acquire basic English and math skills before graduating from high school. It's critical that students acquire these basic skills as early as possible or they are likely to struggle for years," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "The K-12 system can't do it alone, and neither can the CSU. The only way to help these students is for the K-12 and CSU systems to work together for the good of the students and the future of California."

The funding is part of the CSU plan to reduce the need for remediation among incoming freshmen. Last fall 54 percent of entering CSU freshmen needed remediation in math and 47 percent needed it in English. Nearly four years ago, CSU Trustees instituted a policy designed to reduce the number of incoming students requiring remedial education both in English and mathematics to no more than 10 percent by 2007. Since then, the CSU has identified 223 schools throughout the state that send the system the highest number students in need of remedial education, and is concentrating efforts at those schools.

The Master Plan for Higher Education calls for the CSU to accept the top third of all high school graduates. All these regularly admitted students earn the equivalent of at least a B average in high school and complete four years of high school English and three years of mathematics.

Last fall, incoming CSU freshmen were informed that they needed to show proficiency before their sophomore year or face disenrollment. The number of students who were able to show proficiency in their first year and the number of students who did not continue on a CSU campus will be announced at the Nov. 17 Board of Trustees meeting.

Some other CSU initiatives to reduce the need for remedial education include:

  • Providing more summer remedial education programs.

  • Providing early assessment after university admission and before enrollment to help ensure that those who need remedial education receive it during their first term of enrollment.

  • Strengthening teacher preparation.

  • Setting clear standards and assessing performance to ensure students meet high school graduation and university admission requirements.

  • Communicating university competence standards and expectations to students, parents and schools.

  • Informing high schools and community colleges about student performance after the first year of attendance at the CSU, so they can evaluate their success.

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