Poetry in America course featured in Inside Higher Ed

On July 8th 2021, Steven Mintz, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote an opinion piece for Inside Higher Ed on more effective ways to narrow the preparation gap between talented college-bound students.  

Mintz argues that remedial classes are an ineffective way to prepare students from disadvantaged backgrounds for success in college. “Placing these students in noncredit remedial classes not only stalls their academic momentum, but leaves many profoundly discouraged,” says Mintz. “The challenges they face don’t require them to start over.” 

In lieu of traditional remediation, Mintz recommends programs built around “corequisite remediation: enrolling students in standard classes with support.” Mintz cited Poetry in America’s course for high school students, now offered for college credit via Arizona State University, as a strong example of successful corequisite remediation. While sifting through challenging material developed at Harvard by Professor Elisa New, building their writing skills and demystifying the sometimes unspoken expectations and norms of a college-level course, students in Poetry in America for High Schools: The City from Whitman to Hip Hop have the support of their TAs, their co-teachers in the classroom, and even one-on-one mentors (thanks to the support of the National Education Equity Lab!) who help them navigate the process of applying to college. By “challenging [students], building their confidence and providing the support that they need,” the course has helped more than 800 students earn college credit, with roughly 80% of exit survey respondents saying that their experience helped them feel better prepared for college. 

Read the article!