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Chapter 6: Postsecondary Education

Indicator 39: Remedial Coursework and Other Academic Experiences

As of 2006, higher percentages of male than female 200304 first-year undergraduates reported that they had received an incomplete (17 vs.15 percent), repeated a course for a higher grade (25 vs. 22 percent), or withdrawn from a course after the add/drop deadline (33 vs. 29 percent). However, the percentage of male students (30 percent) who had ever changed their major was not measurably different from that of female students (32 percent).

In 200708, some 36 percent of first-year undergraduates in all postsecondary institutions reported that they had taken a remedial course. Specifically, 29 percent of students at 4-year institutions had taken a remedial course, as had 41 percent at 2-year institutions and 28 percent at less-than-2-year institutions.

Overall, the percentage of first-year undergraduates who had taken a remedial course varied by sex. In 200708, a lower percentage of male than female first-year undergraduates had taken a remedial course (33 vs. 39 percent). The pattern of lower percentages of males than females taking remedial courses was observed for White, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native students, as well as students of two or more races. For example, approximately 40 percent of male Hispanic students had taken a remedial course, compared with 46 percent of female Hispanic students.

In 200708, the percentage of White first-year students (31 percent) who had ever taken a remedial course was significantly lower than the percentages of students of other racial/ethnic groups who had done so, except for students of two or more races. The percentages of students of two or more races (33 percent) and Asians (38 percent) who had ever taken a remedial course were lower than the percentages of Hispanics (43 percent) and Blacks (45 percent) who had taken one.

This indicator also examines academic experiences of students from their first 2 or 3 years as undergraduates. In 2006, students in their third or fourth year of undergraduate education were asked whether they had ever changed majors, received a grade of incomplete, repeated a course for a higher grade, or withdrawn from a course after their institutions’ add/drop deadline. Some 16 percent reported that they had received a grade of incomplete, 23 percent reported that they had repeated a course for a higher grade, 31 percent reported that they had changed their major, and 31 percent reported that they had withdrawn from a course after the institutions’ add/drop deadline.

Higher percentages of males than females had ever received a grade of incomplete (17 vs.15 percent), had ever repeated a course for a higher grade (25 vs. 22 percent), or had ever withdrawn after the add/drop deadline (33 vs. 29 percent). This pattern was also observed among White students. No measurable differences between males and females within other racial/ethnic groups were observed in terms of the percentages of students who reported these three academic experiences. In addition, the percentage of males (30 percent) who had ever changed their major was not measurably different from the percentage of females (32 percent) who had done so; nor were there any measurable differences within each racial/ethnic group between males and females who had ever changed their major.

The academic experiences of 200304 beginning postsecondary undergraduates varied by race/ ethnicity. Specifically, lower percentages of Black and Hispanic undergraduates (29 percent each) than White undergraduates (32 percent) had changed their major. Higher percentages of Hispanic (21 percent) and Black students (19 percent) than Asian (15 percent) and White students (14 percent) had received an incomplete. Compared with White students (20 percent), higher percentages of Black (30 percent), Asian (30 percent), and Hispanic students (27 percent) had repeated a course for a higher grade.

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Figure 39-1 Percentage of first-year undergraduates who reported ever taking a remedial course, by race/ethnicity and sex: Academic year 200708

Figure 39-2 Percentage of 200304 beginning postsecondary undergraduates who reported ever receiving an incomplete and ever withdrawing after the add/drop deadline, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2006

Table E-39-1 Percentage of first-year undergraduates who reported ever taking a remedial course, by level of institution, sex, and race/ethnicity: Academic years 200304 and 200708

Table E-39-2 Percentage of 200304 beginning postsecondary undergraduates who reported various academic experiences, by sex and race/ethnicity: 2006


  
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