JACKSON, Mich. — Students who want to enroll at Jackson Community College this fall must be able to read and write at least at the seventh-grade level, according to the Jackson Citizen Patriot. Applicants who fall short of that standard will be referred to alternative adult education courses, the report said.

The new policy is a change from the more typical community college practice of accepting anyone with a high school diploma or the equivalent, the Citizen Patriot reported.

JCC also will limit the courses students can take if their math skills are below seventh-grade level, as determined by college entrance examinations or placement test scores, the Citizen Patriot reported.

"We don't want it to be closing the door on someone and saying they can't be successful," Cindy Allen, JCC spokeswoman, told the Citizen Patriot. "We're trying to do it because what we have in place now isn't working. Students (with limited reading, writing and math skills) aren't being successful."

The college already offers remedial coursework, called "foundation studies"; a 2009 report showed that 69 percent of students at or below an eighth-grade reading level passed the remedial course, according to the Citizen Patriot. Allen said that some students need more help than the college can provide, the Citizen Patriot reported.

Jackson Citizen Patriot, "Jackson Community College to restrict admissions starting next fall for students who score below a seventh-grade level in reading and writing," July 6, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Strategy 1: Direct Expenditures for Remedial Education by Michigan Institutions of Higher Education and Employers," Aug. 31, 2000