Preparing Texas Students For College

Half of Texas High School graduates are not ready for college level work. So new college readiness standards have been set for incoming college students.   
Texas is raising the bar for incoming college students. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board unanimously approved new college readiness standards Thursday to help students succeed in college. 

"These students should already have been exposed to this material before they get to college and if they haven't then they won't be prepared." Amarillo College Associate Dean Robert Austin said.

More than half of Amarillo College students are taking remedial courses and about 10 percent at West Texas A & M.  Educators says many students are having difficulty applying what they've learned in high school to their college courses. 

"In college algebra for instance which is a requirement of every student they don't know how to use it apply it or extend it in some way in a problem we're giving them to solve." said WTAMU, Associate V.P. of Academic Affairs Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart.  He says another area where students are struggling is English. "there are basic noun verbs we need to solidify but students come to us from taking the taks test they understand that five page paragraph that taks require and they do pretty wee, but in college we're needing them to write 10, 20 page papers and that 5 page paper doesn't translate with them and they struggle with that."

Austin says the whole point is for High School and College teachers to communicate with each other for the benefit of the students.

"This is all about higher education communicating with public education, this is what we really need students to know when they get here so they don't have to waste a lot of time remediating before they are ready to do college level course work."

Students will be expected to be familiar with everything from grammar to quantum theory. The new standards will be in school curriculums as early as next fall.