The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education released data this week indicating fewer Oklahoma students took remedial college courses than in previous years.
According to a press release, 34 percent of 2018 first-time freshmen enrolled in one or more developmental or remedial courses, down 2.5 percent from 2017 and 7.9 percent from its high in 2011 and 2012.
“It is encouraging to learn we are positively impacting Oklahoma’s remediation rate,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said in the release. “We must capitalize on every day our students are in school, from pre-kindergarten all the way through their senior year, to build a foundation for success after high school. These results show the difference we can make when we work together to create new solutions and opportunities for kids.”
According to the release, college remediation rates have dropped 2.7 percent in English, 21.43 percent in math, 27.47 in reading and 71.43 percent in science.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education implemented a fourth-year elective math remediation course, College Career Math Ready, in 2018. According to the press release, the course is raising ACT scores and is offered at more than 50 schools around the state.
In an email to The OU Daily, Carrie Burkhart, assistant executive director of communications at the Oklahoma State Department of Education, said data for ACT scores were collected from nine schools that piloted the program and volunteered research data. These data are not available for the rest of the 50-plus schools.
According to the ACT database, Oklahoma math scores have consistently trended downward for five years. Since 2015, math scores have dropped from an average of 19.8 to 18.3, and composite ACT scores have dropped from an average of 20.7 to 18.9.
Since 2017, OU has also seen a slight decrease in average composite ACT scores, according to the OU Factbook. In 2017, incoming freshmen averaged a score of 26.4. In 2018, that number dropped to 26.2. In 2019, the average composite score was 25.9.
“Through our ongoing partnership, the state regents and the State Department of Education continue working collaboratively to strengthen college preparation and best position students for academic success,” Glen Johnson, chancellor of the State Regents for Higher Education, said in the release. “This latest data is reflective of our joint commitment and our progress.”
According to the release, Oklahoma families spend an estimated $22 million a year on remedial college courses. Because these classes are taken in college to help students build skills before taking college-level courses, students receive no college credit despite paying for the class.
“Much of the success of this news comes from the hard work of teachers and students,” Hofmeister said in the release. “We are excited to forge ahead as we continue to align Oklahoma’s academic standards and instruction to yield strong and positive outcomes.”