An examination of our records indicates that many of the students who fail our calculus one course have already taken and failed the course before. In one case I'm aware of, a student took and failed the course six times before finally passing it!
Our current approach is to simply send failing students back into the same course again and again until they pass, or until they leave the institution.
I should note that we do have a placement system that seems to have been effective in placing most students into mathematics courses at the correct level. We know that students coming through the precalculus sequence are doing about as well in calculus as those students who place directly into calculus.
Has anyone out there come up with a better approach to dealing with this problem?
Brian Borchers firstname.lastname@example.org Department of Mathematics http://www.nmt.edu/~borchers/ New Mexico Tech Phone: 505-835-5813 Socorro, NM 87801 FAX: 505-835-5366