On Thursday, February 6, I had the pleasure to interview Ms. Toni Taylor, Director of Developmental English in the Developmental Studies Department. I have asked her questions about remedial classes and how it impacts students at PCCC. When asked about the benefits of taking remedial classes, she stated “70% to 80% percent of students test into remedial classes whether it’s Math or English. The goal is when you take a composition class, the students will get familiar with the classes and what is to be expected.”
It is also known that when students take remedial classes, they may take longer to graduate. She stated: “In order for students to graduate on time, they need to be diligent and more studious. They also need to attend classes as well.” The remedial English department also offers support classes.
Financial Aid plays a role in helping students pay for their classes. When asked who should be responsible for paying for remedial classes, Ms. Taylor responded, “Students are paying for service, just like any other classes.” While her response was brief, it made sense because students are paying for classes that help them progress towards their degree.
Since remedial classes do not count towards credit completion, some students may feel a little frustrated with having to pay. I asked Ms.Taylor if remedial should be free since they do not count towards any credit at all. Her response goes back to financial aid.
Ms. Taylor said “It goes back to the idea being a service.” She also stated that students are allotted for financial aid classes, and the problem is when students fail those classes and have to repeat them, that is when it affects financial aid.
My last but very intriguing question for Ms.Taylor was when I asked her how important remedial classes are for students. She stated, “It can be a difference between navigating college successfully and dropping out. Starting in remedial classes is not the kiss of death, it should not be something negative, it just helps students forward.” Ms.Toni Taylor shared a fact that even surprised me when she said she started college in remedial math when she was young. Now she is a college dean for the Developmental Studies Department.
The lesson learned from Ms. Taylor is that anything is possible no matter what kind of classes you take.