Pima Community College considers ending open-admissions policy and eliminating school's lowest-level remedial education classes

 
Arizona Daily Star
 
The Pima Community College chancellor wants to eliminate the school's lowest-level remedial education classes because they aren't effective.

Opponents say the proposal would cut off access to the only education option for many Tucsonans.

The PCC Governing Board will hold a public hearing Tuesday to discuss the plan.

Chancellor Roy Flores wants the college to change its admissions policy.

Under his plan, beginning next summer the college would start requiring students to have a high school diploma or GED. The college's current open-admissions policy allows "a non-high school graduate who is at least 16 years of age and can benefit from instruction" to enroll.

The proposed new policy would additionally require students to prove they can, indeed, benefit from instruction by taking a placement test that shows they are above seventh-grade level, Flores said.

The college has about 2,300 students who are below that level, he said. And PCC data show those students don't benefit.

They pay for remedial classes - often taking out loans or using federal financial aid - but they rarely move on to college-level classes or graduate from college, Flores said.

Only 5 percent of students in Math 82, the most basic class, completed any college-level class within two years, he said.

The new plan would eliminate the lowest tier of remedial classes in math, reading and writing.
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