Making Up Deficiencies: Is There a Choice?

  • Thomas Wagner University of Cincinnati
Keywords: Higher Education, Access to Education, Underprepared Students


The presence of large numbers of underprepared students and their desire for access to higher education are not recent phenomena. Today, nearly four out of ten students entering two and four year colleges and universities need remediation in reading, writing, and mathematics. Identified by a variety of terms-nontraditional, underprepared, disadvantaged, high risk, etc.-these students are seen as a burden by many in higher education. Metropolitan universities enjoy a unique place in American higher education history. It is this historical mission that is the basis for the current commitment of many metropolitan universities to open access and service to underprepared students. This article discusses why metropolitan universities have little choice but to offer programs for underprepared students and offers suggestions for ensuring success of these programs..