New data suggests that Santa Rosa Junior College students complete degrees and certificates at roughly the same rate as their peers statewide, but the college's remedial students are less likely to ever complete a college-level math or English course.
Junior college officials expressed uncertainty Tuesday on whether California's new Student Success Scorecard had pinpointed an area of underachievement in Sonoma County or simply demonstrated the need for better data collection.
But they vowed to more closely examine the data for remedial students, even as they prepare to teach an increasing number of such students seeking admission.
College President Frank Chong noted that nearly half of the college's new students are Latino, an ethnic group that historically has experienced lower levels of achievement than white students. For example, only 16 percent of the county's Latino high school graduates last year completed all the courses needed to enter a four-year college — half the rate of white graduates.
"We do need to change as the community population changes," Chong said. He also cautioned that at times the scorecard is actually highlighting income disparities affecting student achievement without answering the more pressing question: "What do we do about it?"