Scope, Implications, and Impact: The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Response to the Proposed CSU Policy to Eliminate Remedial Education for Entering Undergraduate Students

Articulation and Transfer
Educational Policies Committee

At the November 1994 meeting, the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees' Committee on Educational Policies discussed the history, cost, and issues surrounding precollegiate instruction in the California State University (CSU). In January 1995, the Workgroup on the Under Prepared Student presented a report on precollegiate instruction in the CSU. The report concluded with ten recommendations aimed at improving the effectiveness of, and reducing the need for, remedial/developmental education on the CSU campuses.


To that end, the following recommendations are offered:

  1. The California Framework for Mathematics and English/Language Arts should be collaboratively reviewed and modified as determined appropriate by the K-12 and CSU faculty. The form, style, and content which determine success on the EPT and the ELM should be consistent with the same advocated in the framework.
  2. CSU should review existing assessment practices for validity, cultural and gender bias, and appropriateness. When and if biases are found, the CSU should take affirmative steps to ameliorate the bias and the effect of the bias. Typically, such steps would include strategies which outreach, recruit, retain, and graduate students adversely affected by the bias. This recommendation should be taken before further consideration is given to implementing the proposed policy.
  3. Because the CSU assessment and placement practices will directly affect the curriculum of the CCC, CSU faculty should collaborate with the CCC faculty on the determination of tests cut-off scores and curriculum implications for the CCC preparing the students to meet the CSU determined levels of preparation.
  4. CSU should use the existing collaborative and coordinating processes available to the various segments of public education to engage in legitimate and deliberate debate on the proposed policy, review the impending implications, and develop strategies for the appropriate disposition of the issue.
  5. Interested parties should seek legislative analysis of the Master Plan or use other appropriate legal resource and recourse to determine if the CSU Board is acting within the scope of its authority. If it is determined to exceed the scope of the Board authority, the portion of the policy which requires preparation for college level English and Mathematics as a condition of admission should be abandoned. Instead, a greater and more honorable focus could be on the elimination of the need for remedial education at the CSU.
  6. CSU should give consideration to the disproportionate impact the proposed policy would have on students of color, individual campuses, and programs designed to facilitate the success of targeted students. Further strategies should be developed to ensure a maintenance of the commitment to serve the diverse population of California.
  7. Because the CSU proposed policy could result in a preponderance of lower division instruction being offered by the CCC, discussions should be engaged and strategies should be developed to ensure that the resources for the instruction, administration, facilities and services to fulfill the precollegiate instruction and lower division need are redirected to the CCC along with the students.
  8. CSU should review their teacher preparation programs for effectiveness in preparing future teachers to achieve the availability of fully prepared students and "..develop an action agenda which places teacher education at the center of CSU efforts to improve the skills and competencies for entering students."
  9. Implementation of the proposed policy would have an effect on students currently in the seventh grade. Instead, the time line should be reconsidered in order to effect students entering the first grade at the time of the implementation of the specific strategies designed to reduce the need for precollegiate instruction.
  10. Consideration should be given to the possibility of a "co-enrolled" and guaranteed transfer status of the students redirected to the CCC. Deliberation should reconsider the 40/60 upper division/lower division ratio, a priority system for CSU eligible verses CCC transfer students will need exploration.
  11. Care should be taken to avoid basing such a fundamental public policy issue on anecdotal evidence and personal or political agendas. Prior to the implementation of the proposed policy, CSU should pursue research to determine the actual impact of remedial education on time-to-degree and student success.