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The Unintended Consequences of Stigma-Free Remediation

Regina Deil-Amen and James E. Rosenbaum
Sociology of Education
Vol. 75, No. 3 (Jul., 2002), pp. 249-268
DOI: 10.2307/3090268
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3090268
Page Count: 20
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The Unintended Consequences of Stigma-Free Remediation
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Abstract

Social stratification may emerge within efforts to reduce it. Although open admissions policies increase access to college, many students may not really be college students; they are taking noncredit remedial courses, which raises concerns about stigma and "cooled-out" aspirations. Studying two community colleges, this article describes a remedial approach that avoids stigma and cooling out but creates unintended consequences. Analyses of interviews with staff and students and of institutional procedures show how this approach arises. The analyses also indicate how this approach inhibits and delays students' awareness of their remedial status, causes them to misjudge their prospects, and prevents them from considering alternative options.

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