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WJBD - Local News - Kaskaskia College Preparing to Help Students with College Readiness

Tom Siegler, Asst. Principal Centralia High School. Submitted Photo.

Mr. Steve Westrick, Superintendent Odin High School. Submitted Photo.

All Vandalia High School - Mr. Randy Protz, Principal; Mr. Walt Kinney, Mathematics Instructor; Ms. Gena Nance, Mathematics Instructor; Mrs. Amanda Kamplain, Mathematics Instructor; Mr. James Sanders, Mathematics Instructor. Submitted Photo.

All Sandoval High School - Ms. Jessica Hogg, English Teacher; Ms. Rose Brandmeyer, Math Teacher. Submitted Photo.

Kaskaskia College Preparing to Help Students with College Readiness

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Kaskaskia College with help from some of the high schools in the college district are preparing to attack the issue of college readiness.  Kaskaskia's Director of Assessment and Strategic Initiatives Dr. Scott Crothers says right now only 25-percent of incoming students meet all of the college readiness benchmarks established by ACT.  

"We do see a number of transitional students who need traditional coursework which is not college coursework.  It doesn't count towards their graduation requirements to meet their associates degree.  Those students get discouraged because of the additional coursework they have to take.  So if there's ways for us to reduce that extra burden, then we'll be able to increase student success and keep them around longer and help them keep their degrees", said Crothers.  

The college is forming a task force with Sandoval, Odin, Centralia, and Vandalia High Schools to look at the issues leading to students not being college ready and will then set goals to address those issues.  Crothers says representatives of the four high schools volunteered to be part of the college readiness effort at a recent meeting of all 17 high schools in the district.  He hopes other high schools will join the effort and the work of the core group can eventually serve as a pilot for the other districts.  

Crothers says a lot is at stake in making more students 'college ready'. While four out of ten 'college ready' students graduate within three years, only one out of ten of the 'non ready' students will do so.  The college is also faced with one out of six of the 'non ready' students not returning after the first semester of classes.  The grade point average of the 'college ready' students is also a half point higher.  

Crothers says some areas that will be addressed are aligning the curriculum so courses at Kaskaskia College are at the right level, additional intervention, requiring college faculty to teach both college and transitional course work, and allowing students to complete some work in their major area while completing the non-credit transitional classes.  Crothers hopes the Jump Start program that allows high school juniors and seniors to take college classes at half price during the summer months will also help.  

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