Published on: September 11, 2009
Lone Star College System is moving forward quickly to help high school students become better prepared for college math.
Representatives from LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood and LSC-Montgomery were on hand earlier last month at a system office math summit, along with school district officials from Cy-Fair, Humble and Conroe.
The summit, organized and spearheaded by Dr. Donetta Goodall, vice chancellor of academic affairs and student success, was held to identify obstacles that may keep high school students from succeeding in college math classes.
“This is a collaboration between the high schools and colleges,” said Linda Luehrs-Wolfe, associate vice chancellor, curriculum and instruction. The summit was one initial step in beginning to identify potential barriers in curriculum or other issues that may keep students from succeeding.
HB 1, a bill passed by the 79th Texas Legislature, in part asks educators to better align high school and college education systems – to help prepare high school students to seamlessly enter and succeed in college, particularly in math and English. HB 1 seeks to align the public education system from pre-school through college completion, or P-16.
The P-16 goals include reducing student dropout rates, reducing the number of high school students who need to take remedial courses in college and increasing the number of those who complete college.
This HB 1 legislation specifically mandates the establishment of teams like the one that met at LSCS – with representatives from the college and high school level – to evaluate current curriculum and make recommendations going forward.
“This is only the beginning,” said Luehrs-Wolfe of the summit that was held at the system offices in August.
“We tried to identify where the gaps are,” she said. “We looked at what type of information the ISDs needed to know about us and what we needed to know about the ISDs.”
She explained that even getting the distribution lists correct is important, for example, to get information to the right people throughout the school districts.
Another example of the work of this group is that members evaluated content of math courses offered at each level, high school and college, searching for consistencies or inconsistencies. The expected result would be to make the offerings more consistent at both levels so that a high school student would know what to expect on a math placement test for college for example.
The first meetings were successful and fostered a great venue for joint planning and problem solving. As this group continues its mandate, more issues will be identified, more meetings will be held – the eyes on helping students achieve success, specifically when transitioning from high school into college, and without having to play catch-up.
“This is on-going,” Luehrs-Wolfe said. She pointed out that LSCS has plans to meet with representatives from all of the school districts represented in LSCS.
Lone Star College System consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Center, LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. With more than 58,000 students in credit classes this fall, LSCS is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and third largest community college system in Texas. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.