Programs produce results at college

The Pueblo Community College system, which includes Southwest Colorado Community College, saw a significant increase in the percentage of students completing remedial courses this school year after implementing a new program.

The president of the Colorado Community College System recognized the college Tuesday for the highest percentage-point increase of students completing remedial courses out of the 13 community colleges in the state. At the end of the 2013-14 school year, 78.1 percent of students completed their remedial courses, an increase of seven percentage points compared with 2010-11. This was also the second-highest percentage of students completing remedial courses within the community college system.

"The results were really striking ," said Norm Jones, the executive dean of SCCC.

He attributed the success to a restructuring of remedial courses that cover reading, writing and math. The college combined several courses, which allowed students to start their selected programs of study sooner.

The college started preparing to restructure the program in spring of 2013.

"We were the institution of the 13 colleges that said we're going to take this on first," Jones said.

In fall 2013, the school had 107 students locally enrolled in remedial courses and started providing mentors and one-on-one meetings to help students complete their work.

Jones said that the changes were research based and it was likely that other colleges in the state would implement similar changes.