About one in three West Virginia high school grads needs to take remedial classes when they go to college — and that number is growing. Why are so many new college students so unprepared?

Also on this week’s podcast, we’ll break down the results of the Alabama Senate race. If a Democrat can win there, what does that mean for West Virginia’s congressional races?

There’s a new report out showing that almost one in three West Virginia high school grads must take remedial classes when they arrive at our state’s colleges.

In some places, it’s much worse — 61 percent of all Logan County high school grads who go to college have to take remedial classes.

There’s some good news. The West Virginia Higher Education Commission, which completed this report, has been setting up this co-requisite model.

Before, remedial classes didn’t count toward your degree – which made it a lot harder and more expensive for these students to graduate. Now, these students are able to take remedial classes that are integrated into entry-level classes – so they get credit. And in general, college retention rates are improving.

Also, West Virginia has a relatively good high school graduation rate – about 89 or 90 percent. But is that part of the problem?

Welcome to “The Front Porch,” where we tackle the tough issues facing Appalachia the same way you talk with your friends on the porch.

Hosts include WVPB Executive Director and recovering reporter Scott Finn; liberal columnist Rick Wilson with the American Friends Service Committee, and guest host Jessi Troyan, Ph.D. economist with the free-market Cardinal Institute in Charleston.

An edited version of “The Front Porch” airs Fridays at 4:50 p.m. on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s radio network, and the full version is available at wvpublic.org and as a podcast as well.

Share your opinions with us about these issues, and let us know what you’d like us to discuss in the future. Send a tweet to @radiofinn or @wvpublicnews, or e-mail Scott at sfinn @ wvpublic.org

The Front Porch is underwritten by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Charleston Gazette-Mail. Find the latest news, traffic and weather on its CGM App. Download it in your app store, and check out its website: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/

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This article was originally published by 100 Days in Appalachia, a nonprofit, collaborative newsroom telling the complex stories of the region that deserve to be heard. Sign up for their weekly newsletter here.