21PSTEM President F. Joseph Merlino was interviewed on WHYY’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, Wednesday, June 8, 2011.
Merlino joined Thomas Bailey of Columbia University’s Teachers College for a discussion about challenges relating to President Obama’s ambitious goal for the nation’s students — by 2020, every American should get at least a year of post-high-school education. According to WHYY’ background set-up for the discussion: Many high school graduates now enter college ill-prepared to tackle the coursework. Nationwide, about a third of first year college students require one remedial course. At two-year public colleges, the number rises to 42%. And for those students who do enroll in those “catch-up” classes, many do not complete the requirement and tend not to return to school. Last year, colleges spent about $33 million on remedial education, twice as much as they did 10 years ago.
Moss-Coane pursued several questions: Should colleges offer remedial courses? What is the role of community colleges in meeting student’s needs? Why do so many high school students need help? And how can high schools work more closely with two- and four-colleges to assure graduates are prepared and that they earn a degree?