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Perhaps more than most academic issues, remedial education evokes fervent emotions and unyielding opinions. Consensus is hard to reach even about the nomenclature, with remedial conveying a sense of deficiency in need of correction pitted against the developmental approach that focuses on change and growth. On campus, the many aspects of the controversy often get voiced in questions rather than answers: What can we do to help these students? Why were these students accepted? Who should and who will teach in these remedial programs? Should we in higher education, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, still be talking about this issue?


The following Brief from the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) is a distillation of the work by members of NERCHE's think tanks and projects from a wide range of institutions. NERCHE Briefs emphasize policy implications and action agendas from the point of view of the people who tackle the most compelling issues in higher education in their daily work lives. With support from the Ford Foundation, NERCHE disseminates these pieces to a targeted audience of higher education leaders and media contacts. The Briefs are designed to add critical information and essential voices to the development of higher education policies and the improvement of practice at colleges and universities.


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