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CUNY replaces ‘outdated’ remedial courses with more equitable ‘corequisites’

CUNY ends traditional remedial courses
The City University of New York (CUNY) announced the phasing out of traditional remedial courses in math and English, replacing them with updated “corequisite” courses to serve students more equitably.
Courtesy of CUNY

The City University of New York (CUNY) has phased out traditional remedial courses in math and English, replacing them with updated “corequisite” courses to serve students more equitably, the institution announced Thursday.

These credit-bearing corequisite courses allow CUNY students to receive academic support in subjects they need and replace the former costly remedial courses that students were required to take despite not counting towards their degree requirements.

Officials say the shift towards corequisite courses is just one step CUNY has taken in its seven-year mission to reform and improve the path to graduate for all students.

“Replacing the outdated remedial approach with a more effective, equitable and evidence-based system is an important advance in our ongoing mission to provide our students with educational opportunity and the support they need to succeed,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez in a statement Jan. 12.

CUNY’s efforts to reform and ultimately improve the path to graduate began in 2016 when a study determined that 78% of CUNY associate-degree students had been assigned to take traditional remedial courses in at least one subject. The majority of those students showed low course completion, retention and graduation rates.

All of this, couple with the fact that a large number of students who were assigned and enrolled in remedial courses were low-income or students of color, indicated that traditional remedial courses were disproportionately impacting certain communities and preventing students from taking necessary credit-bearing courses to gain their degrees.

As of this fall, CUNY institutions will have eliminated the traditional stand-alone remedial courses at all 10 associate degree granting colleges, instead adopting the corequisite developmental model.

“I am also proud that these systemic CUNY changes and reforms were spearheaded by our academic leadership and faculty, and they exemplify our steadfast commitment to transforming the CUNY system to meet the current needs of New Yorkers,” said Chancellor Rodríguez. “The elimination of traditional remedial courses on all campuses is an important milestone on this journey.”

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