WKU seeks alternative to noncredit courses

Shantel-Ann Pettway

Students who pay for noncredit courses might have an alternative in the future.

Students who do not meet the required benchmarks mandated by ACT or SAT scores are enrolled in noncredit courses. Once they complete the noncredit remedial course, students can move on to courses that will count towards graduation.

According to a Complete College America report, “Remediation: Higher Education’s Bridge to Nowhere,” nearly 20 percent of those entering four-year universities are placed in remedial courses that do not count towards their postsecondary credits for graduation.

Sharon Hunter, coordinator of college readiness, said WKU is not removing noncredit courses but is in the process of making alternatives available for less prepared students.

“We are working toward a process where … [a] student that can successfully complete a credit-bearing course with additional academic support is given that opportunity,” Hunter said.

Hunter said some students do not meet WKU’s college readiness requirements as determined by ACT and SAT scores.

WKU wants to provide for-credit courses to students who may need additional help, Hunter said.

“For example, if we have students who fall two to four points off the cutoff for college readiness … we place that student in a college credit course,” Hunter said.

Offering students for-credit courses will also help reduce cost for the university and the student, Hunter said.

Hunter said offering for-credit courses will benefit students as well as the university.

“Students would spend less time and tuition dollars in noncredit-bearing courses,” Hunter said. “This would help retain students at a higher level and ultimately would raise graduation rates.”