Despite Slight Improvement TN Students Unprepared for College
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- New students Jamie Dorris and Chelsey Marlin are getting
themselves acclimated to Volunteer State's campus, making sure they know where
they're going by the first day of school.
"I'm really excited, but I'm terrified at the same time," Marlin
Their schedules are set.
"I'm in remedial math with her," Marlin said looking at Dorris.
"Math is not my strong point."
At Volunteer State, like other community colleges across the nation, between
60 to 70 percent of first-year students have to take at least one remedial
class to basically help them catch up.
"It sucks," Dorris said. "It's really embarrassing because I
was literally one point away from testing out of reading and writing. My ACT
score (was) pretty bad in the math, so they didn't offer me to test out of
A newly released report of ACT scores across the nation shows the average
overall score in Tennessee has slightly improved to 19.2 out of 36. Algebra and
Biology continue to be the areas where students struggle the most. Only 16
percent of high school students are ready for college level courses.
"We're kind of at the bubble or the cutting point in that we'll see
some things change," Kay Dayton, Director of the Learning Commons and
Learning Support at the community college explained. "Tennessee has good
initiatives in place."
Remediation costs the state nearly $25 million and that does not include the
University of Tennessee campuses. It's a cost Dorris and Marlin, like other
students in similar classes, are having to pay for through their tuition and fees,
a realization that's changing the approach to getting their education.
"When you're in high school you feel like, I'm never going to use
this," Marlin explained. "But when you're in college, you're in
something you want to do, so it's exciting. So I'm just ready to go."