No Math, No Admission (It bears repeating….)

The post below is a copy of an editorial I wrote for last year’s counselor edition of the Phoenix Update.  I repeat it here due to continuing concerns regarding math preparation for incoming freshmen. 

No Math, No Admission

For the incoming freshman class of 2008, we saw an unfortuate trend – an unusual number of admissions were rescinded due to the failure of the third required credit of high school math.  It may seem that rescinding admission is a rather drastic response when a student “only” fails (or is missing) a credit of math, especially when the rest of the record is relatively solid.

Well, there’s more to this story than you may realize.  Research by ACT, as well as research on our own campus, indicates a strong correlation between success in math and success in college in general.  The number of  UW-Green Bay freshmen requiring remedial math has increased steadily each year.  It may be too much of a stretch to say that all students struggle in college as a result of inadequate math preparation, but indicators do show a relationship.

Solid research shows that the more math a student takes in high school, the higher their ACT scores will be in math and the less likely they are to need remediation.  We reel strongly that it is not unreasonable to expect an incoming freshman to complete at least three credits of college-prep math (with the understanding that more is better), with the expectation that their eventual college success will be tied to this preparation.

The bottom line:  A student who cannot successfully complete three credits of high school college-prep math is unlikely to be successful at UW-Green Bay.  Therefore, we feel that rescinding admission based on failing required math courses during senior year is not an unreasonable action.  It’s never an easy decision, but it may be a necessary decision.

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