California State University drops placement exams and remedial classes

The Chancellor of California State University, Timothy P. White, signed an executive order directing the institution to eliminate placement exams for math and English and revise the remedial courses that thousands of freshmen take each fall.

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The Chancellor of California State University, Timothy P. White, signed an executive order directing the institution to eliminate placement exams for English and math and revise the remedial courses that thousands of freshmen take each fall.

The measure seeks to facilitate and accelerate the path to a degree for students, one of the priorities of Mr. White. Another advantage is that it will make college more affordable.

Instead of the remedial courses and placement exams, Cal State will rely on high school tests and a plan called Early Start Program, which serves admitted freshmen who have not demonstrated proficiency in English or mathematics. Also, the institution trusts that the general education received during the first year of college will prepare students for more advanced subjects.

“Successful completion of general education, written communication and mathematics/ quantitative reasoning courses in the first year of CSU enrollment establish a foundation for continuous learning”, states the order.

Critics of remedial courses have pointed out that such classes have not succeeded in preparing students for university-level classes and ultimately make college more expensive, affecting graduation rates.

“It will have an enormous effect on college affordability, on the number of semesters that a student is required to be enrolled in before they earn a degree, and it will have a significant impact on the number of students that ultimately cross a commencement stage with a degree in hand, ready to move into the workforce,” said James T. Minor, Cal State’s senior strategist for academic success.