A free, widely available online math course being developed by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse could dramatically reduce the need for students to take remedial math when they start college and put them on a faster, less expensive track to graduation, the UW System announced this week.
It also could better position the state to meet the needs of employers who have difficulty finding employees with adequate basic math skills, as the course would be available to people of all ages – literally anyone with an Internet connection.
An increasing number of freshmen in the UW System need remedial math when they start college, according to UW officials. As of 2007 – the latest data available – 21% of UW System freshmen did not have the necessary skills to succeed in college-level math. Among minority students, the percentage is significantly higher (40%).
Nationally, about 25% of high school graduates require remedial math in college.
That puts them at risk of not graduating, or of taking longer to finish a college degree, increasing the cost of their education, UW officials say.