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More than half of community college students say they are unprepared

More than half of community college students surveyed said they felt unprepared for college-level work, according to a new study by nonprofit Pearson Foundation and Harris Interactive.

That's a statistic that catches the attention of people such as Amy Evans, a spokeswoman for Cisco College, a community college that has a campus in Abilene. Evans said historical trends show about a third of Cisco College students needed to take at least one developmental education course.

"These courses are designed to help students fill in their educational gaps with regard to math, reading and writing," Evans said.

In the current fall semester, "520 out of 1,674 entering freshmen required developmental courses in math and/or English," she said.

About 71 percent of recent high school graduates surveyed as part of the national Pearson Foundation Community College Student Survey said they are working harder in community college than in high school, while saying their high schools should have put a premium on more challenging courses (48 percent).

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