Remedial Education

Remedial education, also called developmental education, refers to classes intended to bolster the basic skills of new college students so they are adequately prepared for college-level work. As they are taken in preparation for college-level work, they do not apply to requirements for a college degree. These classes may be non-credit courses and might not be covered by a student’s financial aid. Remedial education courses are mostly offered at community colleges. 

Placement into Remedial Education

Institutions use the cut scores on national assessments, agreed to in Colorado Commission on Higher Education Policy I, E: Statewide Remedial Education Policy, to determine if a student is ready for college-level, credit-bearing coursework in English and mathematics. Typically students achieving an assessment score at or above the college-ready cut scores (see table below) can be placed into a college-level class.  Students who do not attain a high enough assessment score, or fail to reach the college-ready cut score are given a secondary evaluation (determined by the institution), which is used to determine whether remedial classes are advised. 

College-Readiness Assessment Cut Score Table


ACT Subscore

SAT Subscore



Math: 19

Math 460

Elementary Algebra: 85


English: 18

Verbal 440

Sentence Skills: 95


Reading: 17

Verbal 430

Reading Comprehension: 80

Supplemental Academic Instruction

The state’s goal is to increase the number of students attaining a certificate or degree, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. One strategy for this is to enroll students with developmental needs directly into college-level credit-bearing coursework in conjunction with Supplemental Academic Instruction (SAI). 

SAI allows students who score just below the College Readiness Cut Scores in the table above to enroll directly into credit-bearing 100-level English and mathematics general education coursework offered co-requisitely with extra academic support, thus enabling them to successfully finish college faster and with fewer obstacles. Furthermore, the degree credit-bearing English and mathematics courses taught co-requisitely with SAI are required to be gtPathways approved, which ensures course transferability to other public institutions in Colorado. The below is a list of institutions authorized to offer SAI. High school students may be able to enroll in SAI through their district’s Concurrent Enrollment agreement with one of the institutions listed below.

Institutions Authorized to offer Supplemental Academic Instruction:

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Colorado Community College System (13 community colleges)
  • Aims Community College
  • Western State Colorado University
  • Fort Lewis College