Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Indiana Is A National Leader For Tracking Remediation

Here at StateImpact, we hear (and write about) the phrase “college and career ready” on a regular basis.

Preparing students for life after high school is a common priority across the states, and remediation is a big part of those efforts. However, according to a new report by the Education Commission of the States, there is not much consistency in how states track college preparedness and subsequent progress through remedial coursework.

One in three students at Indiana's public universities requires remedial help in math or English.

SIUE (Flickr)

One in three students at Indiana's public universities requires remedial help in math or English.

Upon reviewing state-level practices, the policy think tank identified 30 states that consistently identify, track and report the numbers of students needing remedial instruction.

Don’t worry, folks, we bear good news: Indiana is one of those states.

In fact, Indiana could be considered a leader in this arena. Not only does the state report remediation data annually through the Commission on Higher Education’s College Readiness Reports, it is also among only 16 states that provide information back to individual high schools on their graduates’ need for remediation in college.

The CHE report, produced in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, determines remedial needs by reporting numbers of students with assessment results below certain placement cut stores, typically on national exams such as the SAT and ACT, as well as identifying students who enroll in remedial courses.

This puts Indiana in a good place. The report says states that regularly report remedial data are better poised to understand the full extent of remedial needs. More comprehensive reports also allow state and education leaders to make well-informed decisions to address students’ specific deficiencies and reduce the need for remediation.

Just last year, Indiana’s data helped lawmakers develop a solution. Under a state law passed in 2013, high schools now have to identify students who are at risk of failing their graduation exams as early as their junior year.

“We must maintain our sense of urgency to ensure that every Indiana student finishes high school with a diploma that equips them for college and career success,” said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education, in a recent statement.

State statistics show nearly one in three students enrolled in public universities start school unprepared for college-level math or English. At last check, the state actually saw improvements of just over two percent in the proportion of students who were college-ready across nearly all student groups.


  • Bob Eckert

    One of many things Indiana does right despite who is in charge.

  • Karynb9

    I’ve never really been able to fully wrap my mind around this whole “colleges complaining that their students need remediation and aren’t ‘college ready’” thing. Other than Ivy Tech, every other accredited college/university in this state has admissions requirements and can deny admission to students. If a college finds they’re accepting too many students who aren’t “college ready,” maybe the college needs to toughen up their admissions requirements? I mean, a public high school is entitled to complain that feeder middle schools aren’t getting kids ready for high school — the high school has to take those kids no-matter-what and educate them. That’s not at all the same for colleges. Of course, the colleges involved have NO problem taking tuition payments from those non-college-ready students while enrolling them in their own remedial classes (at an additional cost to the student) — it’s not like the colleges are giving those remedial courses away for free. They’re making as much money off of the remedial courses as they are any other courses they offer.

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