Nearly half of Wake Tech students need refresher courses

Posted May 23, 2011

— About half the students entering Wake Technical Community College aren't ready for college courses, according to the school. That's because many of them have been out of school, sometimes for years.

Wake Tech is helping those students prepare for college with refresher courses.

For KaLeisha Davidson, math is not her strong suit. The 22-year-old wants to be a registered nurse, but first, she has to get through math.

She and other students got a refresher in introductory Algebra at Wake Tech, which is the school’s most popular course with 67 sections offered last spring.

“It’s really good to start at the bottom for me and work my way back up,” Davidson said.

All Wake Tech students take a test to see if they can go right into regular, college-credit courses or if they need remedial courses.

The number of those taking the pre-curriculum, or remedial courses, jumped 40 percent in the past four years, according to the school. Last year, more than 11,000 students had to take at least one remedial course, which is about half of all Wake Tech students seeking a degree.

KaLeisha Davidson Nearly half of Wake Tech students need refresher courses

“I think (that’s) because we do see a lot of adults who come back to us, and they need a refresher,” said Bryan Ryan, Wake Tech’s vice president of curriculum.

Justin Ficurilli is one of those adults. In his early 30s, he wanted to become a computer engineer and had to start with the developmental courses.

He says they gave him a strong foundation to move forward in math and science classes.

Wake Tech offers four levels of developmental math, three levels of developmental English and three levels of developmental reading. The school also offers free tutoring at its individualized learning centers on five campuses.


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  • alwaysamused May 25, 2011

    "Many teachers are below standard also! Why else are they opposed to their being tested for qualification. It is just getting worse every year and eventually there is no turn back! This also holds back the exceptional students many of whom have IQ greater than their teachers!" williammjohnston

    Oh, wow, how snarky. Teachers in NC do get tested. It's called the PRAXIS. Also,IQ is not an indicator of how knowledgable one is, but rather an estimate of what one is CAPABLE of learning. Teachers are responsible primarily for imparting information and skills to students and assessing their progress. I think it's safe to assume that maturity, experience, and formal education render a teacher with an IQ of 120 more qualified to teach a gifted child than that child is to teach himself. I'm a high school teacher and my IQ is 136. I've taught students with higher IQs, but I assure you they've never known more than I do. The "let's blame the stupid teachers" song is so overplayed.

  • tpraskac May 24, 2011


  • superman May 24, 2011

    As with any degree program there are required courses to take in order to receive your degree. The nursing program is no different. busterbluth-- do you think where they did their research really makes any different? It is logical to me that any person who has been out of school for a number of years would need a review. I think the reason for the refresher courses is probably because they probably have an entrance exam in order to get into the nursing program. It isnt smart to allow people in a program that are not up to par with their educational skills. It only sets them up for failure and prevents someone else from taking up that seat in the program. Wake Tech has an excellent nursing program and they have more applicants for the program than they have space.

  • superman May 24, 2011

    whatelseisnew-- I suggest you check out the nursing program at Wake Tech. They have an Allied Health Building for the nursing program that is located at Wake Med on New Bern Avenue. Students train at Wake Med. Surely you didnt just think Wake Tech makes up a list of courses for the nursing program!

  • whatelseisnew May 23, 2011

    I can see some need for math skills for a nurse. However, I tend to doubt that they use much algebra on their job. This is precisely one of the things wrong with our outmoded and outdated educational systems. Wake tech should have a tailored and I mean a specifically tailored training program for SPECIFIC jobs. For a nurse they should request a curriculum from major hospitals and specialists in the field. Anything else should be put by the wayside. It saves the students time and money and it saves the taxpayers that are subsidizing this nonsense money.

  • Vita Brevis Ars Longa May 23, 2011

    I wish KaLeisha and she classmates much success in they education and growing mathematics skills. Keep your eyes on the prize girl!

  • NCworkingwoman May 23, 2011

    I went back to college as an adult (10+ years between high school and college) I needed refresher courses as I haven't used algebra in the 10+ years since high school.

    There were several adults in my evening class. The older students (30+) scored the highest grades in the class while the younger, fresh out of high school students slept or played on laptops and cell phones.

  • busterbluth May 23, 2011

    I wonder why a comparison to the surrounding community colleges weren't done.

  • harmstrong4 May 23, 2011

    How about,, Wake Schools are the best in the country because of diversity?? lol

  • random musings May 23, 2011

    and this is news because....????