Education Desk: Illinois Remediation Rates On Par With National Numbers

Jan 4, 2016

Karen Hunter Anderson

Once you graduate from high school, you're ready for college. At least that's the theory. But the Illinois State Board of Education recently released data that shows for a significant number of students, that’s not the case. 

Using data from the statewide Class of 2013, the board determined that about 30 percent of graduates went on to community colleges. Of that 30 percent, about half had to take one or more remedial courses.

Karen Hunter Anderson, executive director of the Illinois Community Colleges Board, says that’s been true for a decade.

"That's pretty consistent with the numbers we've had in recent years. It's also consistent with national trends. So Illinois isn't any better or worse than most other states in terms of the number of students that require remediation,” she says.

She says Illinois participates in a program designed to boost graduation rates, and ranks fairly high.

"We also align our rates with Complete College America, and of the 27 states that participate in this data collection, Illinois has the 8th lowest rate, so that's not that bad,” she says.

The state school board is working to collect similar data for grads who chose four-year colleges in Illinois.

Remedial courses, also known as "developmental education," cost students time and tuition, but don’t count for credit. Each college sets its own standards for determining whether a student needs remedial courses. Typical factors include high school grades, standardized test scores, and a screening test.

The board used data from the Class of 2013, matched with data from the Illinois Community College Board.