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Editorial: UNM builds a bridge to cut remedial needs

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The University of New Mexico is taking a strong first step toward reducing the number of its freshmen enrolled in remedial classes – and thus the number of freshmen who never make it to graduation.

That’s because while more than a third of UNM freshmen – about 35 percent – require at least one remedial class, just 20 percent of them graduate in six years.

As Provost Chaouki Abdallah says, “Remediation the way it is today is not working.” In fact, it is setting students and the university up to fail.

So instead, UNM asked 50 freshman to take “bridge classes” this summer so they would be ready for college-level work when they started college this fall. Next year it won’t ask, it will tell.

And that’s as it should be. As the state continues to reform the K-12 system to ensure grade-level proficiency and college readiness, and as UNM revamps its college of education to ensure its training translates into classroom readiness and results, it is as important for UNM to give its student applicants the tools they need to succeed while making acceptance to the state’s flagship university actually mean something.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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