Remedial Math Is Anything But Basic

Pass Rates Drop After CSUB's Remedial Math Courses Go Strictly Online

Cal State University Bakersfield student Audrey Arrington is one of the hundreds of students struggling to pass remedial math.

She uses the drop-in lab time for extra help, but she said that extra help is not the same as actual classroom instruction.

"I love math. But with me, I need it to be in front of me, as far as a teacher being there it's easier for me. But doing this, all this computer stuff? No not for me," she said.

Last year the basic math course went all online and lecturers were taken out of the equation to save money, said CSUB spokesperson Robert Meszaros.

But the strictly online program is not working out as planned.

The pass rate in remedial math dropped from 75 percent in the fall quarter of 2008 to 40 percent in the fall quarter 2009.

"This is the old story. Look to the man on your left, look to the man on your right. One of you won't be here come next spring. That's not education," said Math Professor Joe Fiedler.

Fiedler taught the first remedial math course at CSUB back in 1970. He says cutting classroom lecture time is cutting into the education students are paying for.

"We are aware that there is less money, but degrading the program is one thing; trying to balance the budget on the backs on the most vulnerable students is something different and something less desirable," he said.

Students have one year to pass remedial math, then face the possibility of disenrollment in the university.

Meszaros said the university understands it needs to take a different approach to the program.

"It was not as successful as we hoped, that's why we are taking measures this fall to correct some of those things," he said.

Starting this fall, students will be required to take a one-hour lab a week, said Meszaros. On top of that, students will be required to take a one-unit three-week course on how to be successful in college.

Print this article Back to Top