Letter to the Editor: Be prepared
BY V.M. Pendleton, Tulsa
Friday, December 28, 2012
12/28/12 at 2:43 AM
While much attention and resources are being given to assist low-performing Tulsa Public Schools students, and rightfully so, many potentially high-achieving students are being overlooked and underserved.
Many bright, capable students are graduating from high schools academically unprepared for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) college majors and careers for the simple reason that they did not take the necessary pre-requisite math and science courses in middle school and high school. To be adequately prepared in math for a college STEM major, students must take at least Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry (Pre-Calculus), and Calculus 1. In science, students need at least three laboratory courses in biology, chemistry, and calculus-based physics.
Even if students graduate from high school with high GPAs, high ACT/SAT college entrance scores, and several AP college credits, they may be unprepared for STEM majors in college if they have not completed the necessary math and science pre-requisites in high school. Unfortunately for students interested in STEM college majors, many high school guidance counselors in public, charter, and even private schools fail to advise students to take more than the minimum Oklahoma state math and science courses required for high school graduation. Minimum Oklahoma state graduation requirements are insufficient preparation for aspiring college STEM students.
A simple solution is for parents to partner with school guidance counselors - beginning in middle school - to ensure that their child is enrolled in the necessary math and science courses to be prepared for success in his or her STEM college career.
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