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
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
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
“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.