A new plan for a failing system. Forty percent unprepared: Do the math

A recent report by the Associated Press found that 40 percent of college freshman in Ohio were not prepared for college-level math or English classes in the state’s public universities in 2012. Included in the report was information from the Ohio Board of Regents indicating that 20,000 students took remedial classes in college.

That number is astounding. Forty percent of students are not ready to make the jump from high school classes into the basic classes that almost every college student in the country will take.

With numbers like that, odds are we all have met someone in one our classes that falls into that “unprepared” category. We may know about that classification or we may not, but either way, the fact remains that they are in a system where they are behind from the very start.

This school year, in light of President Randy Dunn announcing Youngstown State University’s transition away from open enrollment, there were some murmurings about a partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College to provide students who aren’t quite ready straight out of high school.

In October, Jack Fahey, the vice president of Student Affairs, said that partnering with Eastern Gateway would create a system where everyone would have “an appropriate pathway that they can be successful in terms of increasing their educational attainment.”

According to the Eastern Gateway website, the typical tuition for a year of classes is around $3,200, compared to the $8,100 that an incoming freshman living off campus will pay at YSU.

When cost gets involved, especially when there’s about $5,000 involved, the choice would appear clear that going to Eastern Gateway is a more viable option for struggling students.

This partnership is a good idea when you consider that 40 percent of students across the states aren’t ready for their new environment. It has been suggested that a partnership between YSU and Eastern Gateway for students who may not succeed at YSU be implemented.

The idea was to determine who those students are and have a transition period where they would attend Eastern Gateway, go through their general education classes — which would include those math and English classes that 40 percent of students state-wide are not ready for — and then, provided that they are academically ready, transfer to YSU.

The logistics would need to be worked out and opposition would most likely be met, but if it were implemented, it would be a service — academically and economically — to YSU’s portion of that 40 percent.