Half of Freshmen Need Remedial Education
By Elika Roohi
Sun Star Reporter
The University of Alaska is reacting to a recent study released that said that over half of the freshmen in the University of Alaska system require at least one developmental class.
“That statistic addresses the entire university system, and that’s a really important distinction,” said Saichi Oba, Assistant University Vice President.
Many of the developmental classes are two-week courses that occur before the semester begins that students can take to get up to speed with the course load in college.
“It’s like boot camp,” said Jane Weber, department chair of the Office of Developmental Education.
Students take developmental courses for a variety of reasons. “A lot of them are fresh out of high school, and they only make them take three years of math,” said Judy Atkinson, a developmental math teacher at UAF. Other students enrolled in these courses are “older students who have been out of school for awhile because they’ve been in the military or been working or something like that.”
Programs like the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) may have a positive effect on the rate of freshmen needing developmental classes. The APS rewards students who receive good grades and complete a pre-set amount of English, math and language courses by paying a substantial scholarship.
Showing up with an impressive transcript will get students in the door for the scholarship, but in order to keep it, students will have to put in a lot of work, such as taking 30 credits a year.
“The best I can say is I sure hope it helps,” Weber said, saying she was uncertain about how much of an effect the APS will have on the student body.
Oba believed that the state is on the right track with the idea of a new scholarship. “The scholarship should help because the requirements of the scholarship are pretty rigorous,” he said.