Rethinking Postsecondary Remediation: Exploring an Experiential Learning Approach to College Writing

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This article contributes to the national discourse on college readiness and postsecondary remediation reform. It discusses an experiential learning model of writing remediation as an alternative to traditional basic skills instruction. Such a model may be practical to support the degree completion rates of underprepared writers whose sociodemographic characteristics—including age, race, ethnicity, and income—suggest intersecting strands of linguistic disadvantage. The data describe the classroom implementation of an experiential model of writing remediation in the context of a summer bridge program for students who were traditional by the sole criterion of age, but nontraditional on the composite indicators of prior language exposure. Findings from this exploratory study suggest that the failures students experienced within the program provoked a variety of insights on college writing skills and academic behaviors. The article's discussion focuses on implications in the context of developing remediation reforms that benefit students across multiple lines of difference. Copyright © 2016, Association for Continuing Higher Education.