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Accommodation vs - Accommodation vs Aptitude When the...

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Accommodation vs. Aptitude When the National Survey of America’s College Students (NSACS) was issued recently, I glanced through its table of contents. This study of the literacy of college students covered a range of topics, and in Chapter 5, “College Experience and Literacy,” the literacy of college students enrolled in remedial courses was examined. The few reports on the success of remedial student that have been published usually describe positive outcomes. McCabe (2000) stated that “Successfully remediated students perform well in standard college work” (p31). Boylan and Saxon (no date) collected data from a number of state assessments and found that large percentages of remedial/developmental students passed subsequent college courses. In one table, it was shown that as many as 83% of students in a remedial reading course passed first-year college course in a similar area. The report from the taking NSACS (2006) however, reported a discouraging outcome for literacy. [A] mong students in 2-year institutions, the average prose and document literacy of students who completed a remedial English class or both a remedial English and a remedial math class was significantly lower than the average literacy of students who never took a remedial class. ( p 44) In this study, the former remedial students did not score as high as classmate who did not take a remedial course. Grades were not considered; there was just a comparison of achievement on a similar assessment. On the one hand, the assessment of the literacy abilities of college students hints that they are on a par with college classmates, but on the other hand the NSACS seems to indicate that remedial/developmental students are not as literate as their classmates. It
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should be noted that the standards for achievement were different. McCabe and Boylan used passing grades in college courses as the indicator of success. While McCabe did not indicate what standard of success was used, it was probably similar to Boylan’s grade of “C.” For the NSACS, however, all the students took the same reading test and then those
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