CCA’s Vanessa Keadle interviews German Vargas, Assistant Vice President for Academic Student Engagement and Associate Professor of Mathematics at the College of Coastal Georgia to discuss Corequisite Support at his institution.

What was the impetus for the change to corequisites at your institution?

Under the traditional remediation structure, many students at CCGA had to take two levels of remedial mathematics before starting their gateway mathematics course. Historically, only 14.9% of the students starting in the lowest level of remediation had completed their gateway mathematics course after three semesters. Students starting only one level below the gateway course had a much better success rate, but still only 35.9% of the students had successfully completed their gateway math course after two semesters. This institutional data provided the sense of urgency that was necessary to completely transform the way remediation was accomplished at the institution. In 2011, CCGA started transforming remediation and after implementing different models. –some with more success than others- corequisite remediation was implemented at scale by 2014.

What models are being used and why were those models selected?

In the current remediation structure, students with placement scores that are close, but below the collegiate threshold, can enroll directly the gateway mathematics course while also taking a corequisite course that provides support in the form of just-in-time remediation. Students with a larger gap in preparation start in a Foundations course the first semester and then take the gateway course with corequisite support (year-long pathway).

What are your results?

After three years of at-scale implementation, the new structure continues to be a success; based on the students needing remediation from fall 2014 through fall 2016, and with most of the students placed directly into gateway collegiate courses with support, these students are passing the gateway courses Quantitative Reasoning and College Algebra at the rates of 66.8% and 54.6% respectively (compared to the success rates of 66.9% and 62.3% for students that are deemed collegiate ready).


“This institutional data provided the sense of urgency that was necessary to completely transform the way remediation was accomplished at the institution.”

Any lingering challenges?

For those students with a larger gap in preparation, we still have a year-long sequence that starts with the Foundations course, followed by the gateway course with corequisite support. The success rate for this year-long pathway is 28.2%.

Any big lessons learned?

This is a continuous improvement process, where institutions need to be ready to reevaluate practices. CCGA is currently in the process of redesigning the corequisite support courses to be able to provide enough support for those students with larger gap in preparation. By fall 2018 every student needing remediation will be placed in corequisite support, and the institution will move away from the year-long pathway that is still impacted by the compound effect of the attrition of multiple-semester sequences.