THEC decision to offer remedials only at community colleges likely won't have big impact at TTU

Very few Tennessee Tech University students will be affected by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission's decision to offer remedial classes only at the state's community colleges beginning next year.

That's because the decision affects only a small portion of classes currently offered at TTU — but not the university's entire Remedial and Developmental Studies Program, said Rebecca Tolbert, associate vice president of Academic Affairs.

"It's a major misconception that the announcement applies to TTU's entire Remedial and Developmental Studies Program. In fact, it applies to only a small portion of classes," Tolbert said. "It does not mean that TTU is closing its Developmental Studies Program."

Under the new THEC guidelines, developmental classes will still be offered at TTU and other four-year public universities in the state.
The difference between remedial and developmental courses, she said, is that the remedial level focuses on teaching fundamental skills, while developmental classes focus on further enhancing the students' already basic knowledge.

"The majority of our students who need remediation test into the developmental level or higher, with fewer needing courses offered at the remedial level," Tolbert said.

In fact, she added, only 47 new students this semester — less than 1 percent of the university's total student body — are enrolled at the remedial level. There are 375 new students enrolled in one or more classes at the developmental level, while the remainder of their courses is college level.

"We will be offering remedial level courses in the summer semester of 2003 to attempt to bring students who need remedial courses up to the developmental level, and we still encourage all prospective TTU students to apply for admission," she said.

The change is a result of the state's efforts to streamline higher education services in light of recent budget constraints.

For more information, call TTU's Admissions Office at 931/372-3888 or 800/255-8881.

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