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Friday, October 22, 2010

40% of DSU Students Need Remedial Classes

I mentioned Tuesday the increase in students requiring remedial coursework at South Dakota's state universities. Reviewing the Board of Regents 2009 High School to College Transition report, I am pleased to find the percentages on remedial needs were up in 2009 but do not represent a long-term trend. Current remedial rates at our universities are lower this year than they were in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Locally, we can find some mixed news. The chart at right (from page 15 of the BOR report) shows the percentage of students requiring remedial courses at each of our six state schools. 40% of the freshman at Dakota State University needed some sort of do-over on math or English they should have learned in high school. Only BHSU was worse, at 46%. Hit those grammar books, kids.

On the arguable good side, Lake County had one of the highest percentages of 2009 high school graduates advancing to South Dakota Regental institutions to further their education. 50% of our 2009 grads went to South Dakota unviersities. Only Potter (54%) and Sully (52%) sent more of their grads to South Dakota universities in 2009.

There's also a breakdown of results by high school. I'll review those numbers and discuss them later. In the meantime, check on your high school's results, see if your kids are getting their recommended daily allowance of math and grammar!


  1. What would be the impact on Madison school and students if instead of dumping money into athletic facilities comparable amounts were put into scholarships for graduating seniors entering SD universities?

  2. Michael Black10/22/2010 6:08 PM

    The economy is driving more and more non-traditional students into higher education. Does the report breakdown the remedial course by the age of the student?

    Where do the top of the class graduates go to college? Are the cream of the crop leaving the state for better opportunities?

    Do Madison HS students go to DSU after graduation?

    Do graduates from the SD universities stay in state after graduation?

    It's very easy to point a finger at the high schools for not doing enough to get kids ready for college, but we must realize they must teach more information than ever before. We were expected to know the basics. Now HS students must take more advanced classes and deal with all of the continuing advances in computer technology. Assignments are not easily completed in class. Three to four hours of homework a night is now the norm.

    I know of many people that are exceptional in English or math, but not both.

    The greater percentage of the population that attend college the greater the need for remedial classes.

  3. Michael Black says "The greater percentage of the population that attend college the greater the need for remedial classes."

    Why do you expect so little from our high school teachers?


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