SUNY Forms Task Force On Remedial Education

May 24, 2012

Albany – The State University of New York today announced the formation of the SUNY Remediation Task Force, which will determine how a collaborative effort between SUNY and K-12 school districts across New York can best alleviate the need for remedial education at the college level.

The SUNY community colleges spend more than $70 million per year on remediation, and 20 percent — or $93 million — of financial aid awarded to community college students goes toward remedial classes. Eliminating the need for remedial education is one of nine major initiatives outlined by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher in her 2012 State of the University Address.

“Our reliance on remediation can only be effectively addressed by an agreement on behalf of everyone who has a stake in a child’s education – from early educators to institutions of higher education and government leaders – to accept a shared responsibility for maintaining the education pipeline,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “The SUNY Task Force on Remediation brings these groups to the table and unites them in a shared commitment to make our education system stronger and our students more successful.”

“We must work together with partners across P-12 and higher education, as well as policy leaders, to help more students graduate from college prepared for 21st century careers. A critical step on this pathway is ensuring college readiness for more students,” said SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges Johanna Duncan-Poitier. “SUNY’s remediation task force is taking the lead by developing an aggressive action plan to strengthen the education pipeline and reduce the need for remediation, and to integrate the latest support strategies to help more students persist and graduate from college.”

More than 40 percent of SUNY students seeking an associate’s degree enroll in remedial coursework at SUNY schools, and only 64 percent of them enroll for a second year. Remediation courses are non-credit bearing, lengthening a students’ time to degree and increasing their college costs.

The SUNY Remediation Task Force is comprised of nationally recognized researchers, representatives from the New York State Education Department, faculty, community college and K-12 leaders, and students. Its initial meeting was convened in New York City on May 2. A complete member listing is available online.

Parallel to this effort, SUNY is conducting a study on remediation that was commissioned by the state legislature to provide a snapshot of current student preparedness in New York. The snapshot will compliment the work of the Task Force as it aims to:

  • Evaluate proficiency and address weaknesses in the pipeline by expanding effective resources such as educational opportunity programs and introducing new ones, like “summer boot camp;”
  • Work toward better results for students once they are enrolled in college and truly in need of remediation by improving student advisement services and carrying out best practices that have proven to equip students with the skills they need; and
  • Re-evaluate existing student aid programs to ensure that remedial courses are delivered in a cost-effective manner until they are no longer needed.

The Task Force will now form working groups comprised of select members, as well as other experts, to focus on data collection and analysis of current SUNY practices. They will also conduct research on innovative and proven best practices nationally. The working groups will then present their findings to the full Task Force, which will make recommendations for implementation to Chancellor Zimpher and the Board of Trustees by the end of the year.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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