Nearly half of Wake Tech students need refresher courses

Posted May 23, 2011 10:22 a.m. EDT

— 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.

“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.