UNLV seeks remedy for offering remedial English to new students

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is reaching off-campus to tackle the on-campus problem of high school graduates being poorly equipped to handle college writing.

Next spring, the university plans to offer remedial English classes at some southern Nevada high school campuses.

By completing the "Get Ready" college classes, high school students would be able to sign up for freshman composition in their first semester at UNLV, and the university would be able to report fewer freshmen taking remedial English.

According to the latest available data, one-third of Nevada's fall 2002 Millennium Scholarship recipients had to take remedial classes in English and math when they started their college studies.

Millennium Scholarship qualifiers, who are awarded $10,000 in Nevada college aid, are considered the state's top scholars with overall high school grade-point averages of 3.0 or above on a 4-point scale.

Nevada lawmakers and members of the state's higher education governing board have expressed frustration about offering remedial classes to students whose high school grades suggest they have been prepared for university work.

When admitting students, UNLV relies on high school grades rather than minimum scores on standardized college-entrance exams.

In fall 2002, 43 percent of recent Nevada high school graduates took remedial classes at UNLV, compared with 28 percent at the University of Nevada, Reno, according a report prepared this year by the University and Community College System of Nevada.

At least 1,000 students are taking remedial English classes this semester at UNLV, said English professor Steve Brown, the university's director of composition.

The university is offering as many classes in remedial English, about 50, as it does in freshman composition.


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