2.12.08

MATH SURE IS HARD. But there are no remedial math classes at Northern Illinois.
NIU doesn’t technically offer any remedial courses, as the math courses are taught by Kishwaukee College, meaning that there are no remedial courses taught at NIU in any subject besides math, said Brent Gage, assistant vice provost of enrollment services.
The particulars are more convoluted.

A quarter of NIU students take remedial math courses, said Mathematical Sciences Chair William Blair.

Those students who are unable to place into MATH 110 are “directed to take the courses KISH 096 or KISH 098, offered on the NIU campus by Kishwaukee College in order to prepare students for MATH 110,” Blair said.

“This 25 percent figure has been more or less stable over the past few years,” he added.

Incoming students come in two types, where math is concerned.

Alan Zollman, associate professor of mathematical sciences, said he has noticed more remedial math courses offered and more students enrolled in them this semester than in years past.

“It could be two reasons,” Zollman said in a previous interview of why this change has occurred. “Students are less prepared than they should be. And maybe we have more students than we’ve had before.”

Zollman said there aren’t as many average or C students in his classes as there used to be. His classes are filled with mainly A, B, D and F students, he said. The fact that there are more below-average students, at least in Zollman’s estimation, could be another reason why there are more students taking remedial math classes this semester.

I'd still like to see our institutional research office identify the high schools that are sending us students not ready for university mathematics, and our controller bill them for redoing the work they didn't do.

I have learned a bit more about the remedial math efforts here, and will provide additional material in a few days.

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