Story by Deb Seminary, contributing writer
When North Dakota colleges and universities started seeing an increase in the number of students having to take remedial courses in English and math, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) stepped up to create the College Ready English and Math (CREAM) program.
CREAM is a remediation program providing students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills, in English and math, to prepare for college. Students work at their own pace, monitored by a facilitator to make sure they stay on task.
“The facilitator is one of the key elements of CREAM,” said Davonne Eldredge, DPI’s assistant director of Academic Support. “You have to have the right person, someone who can relate to the students. Someone who will cheer them on and also hold the students accountable.”
The state-funded program was started in 2016-2017 and participation has gradually increased. Public and private schools are eligible to offer CREAM and it is accepted at all colleges and universities within the North Dakota University System.
College-bound seniors who have not met the ACT benchmarks set for college-level English and math courses are CREAM candidates. Others who would benefit include college-bound seniors who have historically struggled in English, college-bound juniors or seniors who have struggled in math, and/or college-bound seniors who lost ground academically due to lack of engagement with distance or hybrid learning.
“If you have students that need a little boost, someone that is struggling in math or English, they would definitely benefit from CREAM,” said Eldredge.
Providing CREAM for students can reduce college costs, save them time (by not having to take remedial courses), and also improves school accountability scores through the Choice Ready component.
Parents can contact their schools to see if CREAM is available, and schools can still sign up for the 2021-2022 year. For more information and/or sign up, contact Harmony Richman at firstname.lastname@example.org.