The number of new freshman having to enroll into college preparatory courses has been rising rapidly over the past few years.
In 1996, the National Center for Education Statistics found that 26 percent of all new freshmen had to enroll for at least one college preparatory course.
By 2006, it was up to 38 percent (162, 597 students), according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Why do all these students have to take courses that they should already be familiar with? Where does the problemlie, is it in our high schools, or is it simply in our placement tests?
“I thought that I was prepared for college, but obviously I wasn’t. After I took the Accuplacer, it actually brought my self-esteem down,” said freshman Jeanette Torres
TJC accepts the following placement tests: The Accuplacer, THEA, and the ACT and the SAT, which can replace placement tests if the scores meet the requirements.
“A lot of students go into freshman orientation not knowing that they have to take a placement test, therefore goinginto it unprepared,” said Lisa Harper, recently named dean of College Preparatory Studies.
According to Harper, Tyler Junior College cannot keep students out because of their test score, so some students might take the placement test not caring about how well they do.
Some examples of questions that test takers could possibly see on the Accuplacer are: Which unit would be more likely used to measure the amount of water in a bathtub? What is the volume of a cube whose width is 5 inches? The number of milliliters in one liter is?
“I personally believe that the student’s junior and senior year of high school should align with college level curriculum, in order to better prepare the students for their future in college,” Harper said.
The number of students going to college unprepared is increasing, which has increased the demand for collegeprep courses. College Preparatory used to be a part of Support Services. It is so big now that it has made its wayto its own division of the college.
College Preparatory offers courses in writing, reading and mathematics.
“It would have helped if they taught study techniques/ study habits in my high school. I believe that it would have helped me at least know what to expect and how to stay organized with my studies while in college,” TJC studentMaigan Mauldin said.