At the start of their college careers, students who are not sufficiently prepared to complete entry-level courses are often encouraged or required to take developmental or remedial courses. New information from the U.S. Department of Education shows that during the 2007-08 academic year, 30.2 percent of all first-year African American college students took remedial courses. The Department of Education defines remedial courses as courses for students lacking skills necessary to perform college-level work at the degree of rigor required by the institution.
There is a major racial gap in preparation for the rigors of a college curriculum. Some 19.9 percent of White students took remedial classes compared to 30.2 percent of Black students.
Black men were slightly more prepared for college curriculum than were Black women. In the 2007-08 academic year, 31.2 percent of Black women took remedial courses compared to 28.7 percent of Black men.