Each year about half of U.S. high school graduates who begin college are forced to take remedial math before they can take college courses for credit. For most, this remediation requirement is unexpected and a substantial barrier to earning a college degree. Only 22% of students who face math remediation are able to finish college. EdReady.org, a free website for all learners, was launched this Spring to help solve this problem.
EdReady is the brainchild of The NROC Project (NROC), a national, non-profit effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and sustaining institutional members. Nearly six years of research and development guided by educators from leading academic institutions nationwide has led to the creation of a novel approach to math education that gives each student a personalized learning experience.
“As we designed and built EdReady, we realized that when learning is tailored to the specific needs of the individual, the whole concept of ‘remediation’ becomes flawed,” explained Gary Lopez, Founder of The NROC Project. “Since EdReady creates a custom course of study using a student’s individual math learning needs in combination with the specific math requirements of the school or certificate they are pursuing, the learning experience is really the first step along the path to their college degree, not an unexpected hurdle to starting college.”
Early evidence suggests that a personalized learning experience changes a student’s mindset about college math readiness. “The dropout rate for the traditional approach to math remediation was very high,” said Judy Lowe, Assistant Vice President at Chattanooga State College. “With EdReady, students are inspired to stick with it, improve their math skills, and pursue their degrees.”
Testing of EdReady began in high schools and colleges across the country in 2013. The University of Montana used EdReady with entering freshman facing math remediation. Working at home during the summer before starting college, 87% of students who completed their personalized study path in EdReady passed the University of Montana math readiness exam and avoided remediation.
“This is a much better result than we have had with all other approaches to math readiness,” reported Roberta Evans, Dean of the School of Education. “The students who used EdReady avoided one or two semesters of math remediation and saved thousands of dollars of additional tuition.” The EdReady results in Montana were so impactful that the University of Montana partnered with the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to support the first statewide rollout of EdReady in the nation starting in 2014.
The impact of EdReady could extend beyond education. “Since access to higher education means access to a good job and a better life,” said Martha Kanter, former U.S. Under Secretary of Education, “college math readiness is a very real barrier to prosperity for families. If EdReady can improve college completion, it could be an important part of our country’s educational and economic future.”
The impact of EdReady and other efforts to help students earn their college degree will be measured first in higher graduation rates, lower unemployment rates, and, ultimately, a better-educated society. As noted by Kanter, “There is nothing more important in this country than education to help Americans harness opportunity to realize their dreams for success in college, career, and community throughout their lives.”
The NROC Project (NROC) is a community-guided, non-profit project focused on new models of digital content development, distribution, and use. NROC is funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and most importantly by NROC members across the country. We are education leaders from state and system institutions nationwide who believe in open and equal access to education and the power of media to personalize learning. We represent more than 6 million U.S. students from middle school to college. Learn more at theNROCproject.org.
EdReady is a personalized college math readiness application designed to help learners test their college readiness, see study options, and gain a personalized learning path to fill in knowledge gaps. EdReady is designed and maintained by The NROC Project.
EdReady is available at no cost for personal use at EdReady.org. EdReady is also available to many students through numerous institutional versions that have been customized for specific educational needs and outcomes. Institutions that are sustaining members of The NROC Project are entitled to a custom version of EdReady for their institution. For more information, contact membership@theNROCproject.org.
Dr. Gary Lopez Founder
The NROC Project
Dr. Ahrash Bissell
EdReady Project Manager, The NROC Project
Marketing Director, The NROC Project