Oct 092003
 
Authors: Carmen Filosa

In an effort to increase college size and chances of graduation,

the Colorado Commission on Higher Education passed a bill Oct. 2

will make Colorado high schools require a more intensive curriculum

for students to get a diploma.

“This kind of curriculum encourages kids to go to college,” said

Joan Ringle, spokesperson for CCHE.

Ringle said the new standards, which will start for the students

who are currently in eighth grade, will not only get students to go

to college, but will also ease the transition from high school to

college.

According to the CCHE Web site, the current standards, which

allow schools to establish their own requirements, have not been

changed since 1987 and the new policy will be much more

rigorous.

The new curriculum includes four English classes, four math

classes (algebra 1 and higher), three natural sciences classes and

three social sciences classes.

Ringle said the new curriculum will inspire students to continue

their education after high school.

“A kid goes to college if his parents went or if they have a

rigorous curriculum,” Ringle said.

She also said the current process of college selection needs to

be changed because the high school classes a prospective student

takes are not as heavily considered as ACT and SAT scores.

Studies have shown that standardized test scores are not good

predictors of college success, Ringle said.

She said evidence of these studies is shown through the 23

percent of Colorado college students who need remedial classes,

which cost higher education $15.8 million.

Ringle said other states that have already introduced harder

high school programs are experiencing success.

She thinks the new program will increase college enrollment.

“We’d like to see all of the students go to college, but we’d at

least like to be at the national level,” Ringle said.

May Ontiveros, executive director of CSU Admissions, said the

majority of students who are admitted to CSU do not need remedial

courses, but many have to retake high school math courses as

refreshers.

“If you enter a university with a solid base, your chances (of

success) will be better,” Ontiveros said.

According to the Admissions Web site, student admittance is

based on a combination of standardized test scores and high school

grade point average, which is computed into an index score.

Though Ontiveros said the program will be a move in the right

direction, she is worried that some high school students will not

know about the increase in requirements.

“Our hope is that we are not going to leave more students in the

cold,” Ontiveros said.

Kari Shrader, a senior finance and real estate student, who

graduated from Conifer High School, said she did not feel prepared

when she came to college.

“(High schools) don’t teach you how to study,” Shrader said.

Lack of challenge and not being required to learn the curriculum

outside of class are what Shrader blames for her difficulty

transitioning to college.

“They spoon-feed you in high school,” she said.

 

 

 

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