CUNY Ends Non-Credit, Remedial Courses For Associate’s Programs

Remedial classes end for students pursuing associate's degree./CUNY

By Michela Arlia 


   CUNY announced that as of the fall 2022 semester, traditional remedial courses across the university are terminated after a seven-year phase-out, according to a Jan. 12 media release.   

   The courses were assigned to new students in associate’s degree programs who had low course completion, retention, and graduation rates prior to their college admission. Most remedial classes were in math.

   Students assigned to remedial courses were required to pay tuition and use time-stamped federal and state financial aid for the courses. Remedial classes did not provide credits that could count towards a student’s degree requirements. 

   In 2016, CUNY began its remedial course reform, replacing the once mandatory, non-credit learning with inclusive and equitable “corequisite” courses. 

   “Corequisite courses are credit-bearing courses that provide students with embedded academic supports to help them succeed in the course and count toward their degree requirements,” read the press release. “They replace costly, non-credit bearing remedial courses that students had been required to pass before embarking on college-level courses.”

   Students were placed into remedial courses after taking placement exams before their first college semester. Those who showed the need for more support in either English or math had to complete said remedial courses before they could enroll in any other credit-bearing courses in those subjects. 

   These practices disadvantaged students from underserved communities, as most of those enrolled were reported to be low-income students of color.

   CUNY noted that despite being too early to measure the impact this change will have on students, indicators suggest the switch to corequisites is positive. 

   “Since CUNY began corequisite adoption, the percentage of first-year associate-degree students who earned math credit in their first two semesters rose from 36% in 2016, when the transition began, to 50% in 2020,” read the statement.