Distribution of community college students across remedial levels by race/ethnicity
Many students enter community college unprepared for college-level academic studies and need to complete a basic skills or developmental program in order to succeed in college-level coursework.
EdSource's study, Course-taking patterns, policies, and practices in developmental education in the California Community Colleges, examined remedial course-taking patterns in the community colleges and the correspondence between those patterns and various student outcomes. (This study was done at the request of the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.)
The study found that, among students who first enrolled in the fall of 2002, African American and Hispanic/Latino students were more likely to start with lower level remedial courses in both math and writing as compared to other ethnic groups. Asian students in the study started at the top of the remedial sequence in math more often than other ethnic groups, with 33% beginning in Intermediate Algebra/Geometry. This contrasts somewhat with white students, at 28%, and more dramatically with both African American students (at 13%) and Hispanic students (at 16%). The concentration of the latter two groups of students at the Arithmetic level is also notable.
The distribution of students across remedial writing levels within four racial/ethnic groups for the fall 2002 cohort
The distribution of students across remedial mathematics levels within four racial/ethnic groups for the fall 2002 cohort
Notes: Percentages do not always sum to 100 due to rounding.
Data: Student course enrollment records provided by CCC Chancellor's Office Management Information System (COMIS) matched with course listings, descriptions, and prerequisites from the 2002–03 through 2008–09 course catalogs of the colleges. Includes only courses taken for credit.