|High schoolers less prepared for college|
|Written by Drew Zimmerman, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 18 October 2011 16:07|
According to a recent study from two Florida schools, a lack of academic progress after high school is leading to an increase of remedial courses being taken at college.
At Florida Gulf Coast University, out of 2,230 first-time freshmen, 2.6 percent of students required at least one remedial course.
At Edison State College, 4,309 out of 6,089 freshmen were taking at least one remedial class, resulting in 70.7 percent of students needing remediation.
These figures are attributed to poor communication between high school and college programs as well as poor performances in college preparatory exams and first-year courses, the study said.
According to the Illinois High School to College Success Report, compiled by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, from 2006 to 2008, students on average earned a 3.08 grade point average in high school and a 2.52 GPA as college freshmen in two-year institutions. Thirty-seven to 53 percent of students fell below a 2.5 GPA in math alone.
GPAs went as low as 2.05 to 2.24 across the subjects of math, English, reading and science for students requiring developmental coursework.
ACT scores for students in remedial courses ranged from 17.5 to 20 and their first-year college GPAs were as low as 2.21 to 2.39.
In four-year institutions, GPAs were 2.83 in high school and 2.44 freshmen year of college for students in developmental courses, and ACT scores went from 17.9 to 19.3.
On a national level, a study conducted by Strong American Schools in 2008 showed 43 percent of students in two-year institutions and 29 percent of students at four-year public colleges have taken a remedial course. The estimated cost of the remedial courses ranges from $2.3 million to $2.9 million each year.
The IBHE’s recommendation for these statistics is to increase the number of college preparatory courses while following a rigorous college curriculum and to reevaluate high school course objectives and lesson plans.
At University High School, there is no restriction on enrollment in AP courses, according to Jeff Hill, principal of UHS.
AP classes are offered in math English, science, social science, French, Spanish and other elective courses.
“The key piece is that we try to shoot for standards above the Prairie State level and into national level, and that vigor helps to motivate the students,” Hill said.
“We offer 10 AP classes at U-High along with the opportunity to enroll in dual-credit classes either at ISU or Heartland,” Karen Valouche, UHS guidance counselor, said. “Approximately 95 percent of our student body is college bound.”
Valouche added that UHS emphasizes the difference between college requirements and admissions requirements.
The Illinois High School to College Success Report for ISU states that the average GPA for students in developmental courses is 2.83 in high school and 2.44 in the first year. As few as 17 percent of students in first-year math courses and 23 percent of students in science courses fell below a 2.5 average.