College readiness increased in last decade among Texas graduates

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

College readiness among Central Texas graduates has generally increased from 2006 to 2014, according to a E3 Alliance study.

E3 Alliance, a data-driven collaboration which promotes educational progress, reports only 62 percent of Central Texas high school graduates were college ready in 2014.

“I performed consistently well in my math and English classes in high school, and that makes me feel more confident in college,” math freshman Adviti Sarang said. “While subjects like architecture throw me off, my math class in college is a source of instant recognition and more preparation.”

Engineering freshman Neha Shah said she felt overprepared for some classes but underprepared for others.

“I went to a high school where science and math was emphasized before all other subjects,” Shah said. “Because I excelled in math during high school, I don’t feel overwhelmed in my higher-level engineering math class. But in my English class, I definitely feel inferior to my peers. There’s an exam in my literature class soon, and I wish I’d been more exposed to a stronger English curriculum.”

According to Melissa Curtis, associate vice president for Enrollment Management at Austin Community College, ACC has early college high schools in at least six schools districts as well as several career academies which aim to prepare students for college from an early age.

Data from the UT-Austin Education Research Center shows that 73 percent of students who missed more than 10 days of high school did not graduate on time.

“We definitely want students to identify career pathways as early on as they can,” Lara Gueguen, college readiness coordinator Austin ISD, told KXAN. “All the research out there shows that students who do so are more likely to graduate from high school and also enroll in any institution of post secondary education be it for a certification program or for a bachelors degree.” 

Math and English not only boosts skills taught in a classroom setting but also skills needed for professional development and public speaking.

Math freshman Sheetal Hari said her high school preparations have helped her transition to college.

“I feel confident giving oral presentations in class because of English, and even emailing professors is easy,” Hari said.