Did Algebra Online Make the Grade in Math for New York Community Colleges?
Community Colleges across the country have been cracking down on remedial courses, which are often expensive for students but can put them at a disadvantage when they face higher-level work. But one state is planning to go further: in a proposal to be discussed in mid-July, community colleges will no longer require incoming freshmen to take Algebra.
How Does Math In The Classroom Compare To Algebra Online?
The idea behind Algebra online is that students who are taught the skill by computer will outperform those who are taught by teachers. A recent national study by the Program for the Study of Educational Outcomes at Johns Hopkins University suggests that students who were taught Algebra online excelled at the task.
Findings from the Johns Hopkins study showed that Algebra online students bested students whose teachers had Algebra in the classroom by only about one grade level. This lag could be due to students having only a cursory review of basic math concepts. The study was performed with only 636 students. But the math skills of current New York students might not be that much different than those of students in the U.S.
The 2014 U.S. Department of Education report says that, of students who entered high school unprepared for college, only one in three took at least one math course.
For Community Colleges to Succeed
Community colleges aren’t just called “community colleges” for nothing. One of the biggest components of community colleges is academics. They are supposed to be transformational: they are meant to serve New York’s underserved communities. These students are meant to have tools to succeed in the world outside of community college, to receive the hands-on training needed to become the people they want to be – to realize their potential.
To accomplish this goal, students often come to community colleges with very basic knowledge, but they need rigorous math and science courses to be able to advance through their field. The idea is to give these students the tools to become more proficient, to provide pathways to higher education. Algebra online doesn’t do this.
How Much Is Algebra Online Cost?
It costs less than $3 to enroll in Algebra online on your New York community college. If you live outside of New York, costs are different. You need to contact your local community college and see how much Algebra they have available to offer.
Should This Happen in New York?
The cost of Algebra online might be well worth it. Many students in New York are eligible for financial aid through their community college. This financial aid helps offset the cost of the course.
We are less than a month away from the start of the new school year. In the midst of trying to save money and making the classroom a less burdensome place, this proposed change in New York could cut down on some of the most expensive courses, and make New York’s community colleges more accessible for students.