The new set of requirements for admission to institutions controlled by the Kansas Board of Regents may seem less strict, but that doesn’t mean actually succeeding in college will be any easier.
“There’s no longer a possible requirement to have to take a specific set of high school courses to qualify to go to college,” said Mark Tallman, Vice President for Advocacy with the Kansas Association of School Boards. “For many years, students could qualify, either having a minimum ACT score, by being in the top third of their class, or completing this pre-college curriculum. To be accredited, a district, their high schools had to offer those courses.”
The path to college will still be much the same.
“The new standard will let you qualify based on an ACT score or a grade point average, instead of class rank,” said Tallman. “The pre-college curriculum will be recommended, but not required.”
This will make helping students decide on a vocational track even more important.
“We know young people, and older people, often change their mind,” said Tallman. “They often change their interests. There’s a lot of people who thought they wanted to do something, until they tried doing it. That’s one reason, I think that the direction of the state department and many schools, is to give kids more experience in high school, so maybe you’ve got some idea before you decide.”
The big concern is that if students aren’t directed to one track or another, they may not be adequately prepared for any of them.