September 15, 2003 :: September is Oklahoma Higher Education Math and Science Month
September is Oklahoma Higher Education Math and Science Month, and the State Regents have created an online tool that makes it easy for students and parents to find help with math and science concerns or to boost current skill levels.
Students, parents and educators are encouraged to visit the Oklahoma higher education Student Center under “Check It Out” to find a list of helpful math and science Web sites. The sites offer a variety of services, including assistance with homework problems for students and parents or in creating challenging lesson plans for educators. The site also provides links to state and local math and science learning resources.
The Web site is being introduced this month so students, parents and educators can use it throughout the school year.
“The State Regents recognize that math and science skills are important in creating a strong workforce capable of attracting new business and industry to our state,” said Chancellor Paul G. Risser. “During September and throughout the school year, students, parents and educators are encouraged to use the resources available to ensure that our young people have the math and science skills necessary for college-level work and eventually, the workforce.”
In addition to Math and Science Month, the State Regents have multiple initiatives to strengthen math and science learning in Oklahoma’s K-12 classrooms. These initiatives are designed to help reduce the need for math and science remediation at the college level. Students that require remediation when starting college pay tuition and fees but receive no credit for their work. Students are encouraged to get foundation math and science skills in high school to avoid remediation later.
Some of the initiatives of the State Regents include improve teacher preparation, increased standards for college preparation, establishing better feedback and communication with Oklahoma high schools and facilitating cooperation between various state education entities to increase the number of students who go directly to college from high school.
Specifically, the State Regents are providing leadership, coordination and information about the following programs:
- The No Child Left Behind Act provides federal grant funding for teacher professional development, including workshops in math and science.
- The State Regents’ remediation policy requires that students who score below a 19 in any ACT subject area must either enroll in a remedial course or undergo secondary assessment. Students who score below designated levels on the secondary tests must successfully complete remedial courses in college before moving on to collegiate-level work.
- The Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) is a voluntary student assessment and instructional support programs that provides feedback to middle and high school educators about their performance in preparing students for college. EPAS also provides individual students with information about the probability of the grades they would earn in college based on their current high school performance. Currently 83 percent (451) of all districts and 38 private schools participate in EPAS, reaching more than 98 percent of Oklahoma eight and tenth graders.
- The High School Indicators Project distributes annual reports to school boards, superintendents and high school principals about ACT scores, college-going rates, first-year college performance, and remediation information on students who graduated from their district to help educators evaluate college preparation activities on a local level.
- GEAR UP is a federal grant program designed to better prepare middle and high school students for college. Specifically, the Oklahoma GEAR UP program provides qualifying districts additional funding and services to help them assess and augment their curriculum, student performance, and parental and community involvement in math and science education, as well as other subjects. This can translate into much-needed teacher training, staff development, student mentoring programs, instructional materials and other resources in districts with the most need.
- The Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP) allows students who meet specific income, academic and conduct requirements in high school to earn free college tuition. Students must sign up in the eighth, ninth or 10th grade.
- The ACT Standards for Transition tool provides feedback allowing school districts to see as early as the eighth and 10th grade whether students have the core academic skills to succeed in college. In addition, individual students are informed of their subjects and skills that need improvement if they want to be successful in college.
- The State Regents require a 15-unit high school core curriculum for college admission. Studies have shown that students who take the required core curriculum usually score better on entrance exams and are ready for college-level work.
Oklahoma higher education officials also recommend that students take additional math and science courses in high school and college to better prepare them to compete in today’s global economy.
If you need additional information about Oklahoma higher education’s math and science programs, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.858.1840 (225.9239 in Oklahoma City).