DURANT, Okla. — College students may face numerous obstacles when working toward their goals. Academic preparedness and financial hardship are two such challenges.

DURANT, Okla. — College students may face numerous obstacles when working toward their goals. Academic preparedness and financial hardship are two such challenges.


But the SE CARES (Curricular Alternatives to Remedial Education Subjects) program is helping to address these issues at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.


SE CARES has three components that have been identified as best practices for college remediation. These include accelerated experiences, provided through summer workshops for new students; embedded remediation provided by incorporating remediation into gatekeeper, credit-earning courses; and tutors to work with students through remediation.


The students participating in the summer accelerated programs do not pay extra for remediation and can take credit-earning courses in the fall, as opposed to having to pay full tuition and fees for these remedial courses. This allows the students to progress academically at the same rate as non-remediation students, and saves the student the extra expense of remediation. The embedded programs are also provided at no additional cost to the student.


"The students who have participated in SE CARES have excelled, and the program has exceeded all of our expectations,’’ said Associate Dean for Academic Services Tim Boatmun.


For the summer and fall 2012 cohort, a total of 38 students participated in SE CARES.


According to the most recent data from the University, the SE CARES students outperformed their expected retention rate by 14.8 percentage points and had a higher grade point average than their peers.


Southeastern hopes to double the size of the cohort, thanks to a $10,000 grant from AT&T.


"We are very pleased with the results of SE CARES and believe that it will be of great benefit in the future,’’ said Southeastern President Larry Minks.


SE CARES, which began as a pilot program in fall 2011, also complements the Complete College America initiative that is being implemented in 33 states across the nation. It also addresses the transform remediation component in Southeastern’s Institutional Degree Completion and Academic Plan, which is submitted to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.