Another year of college applications has begun, but some Jefferson City school board members are less concerned with the applications than test preparation.
The board met Monday night to discuss the low, nine-student enrollment in an ACT prep class this past summer, exploring reasons for why the program is struggling. Members discussed higher tuition costs as a possible result of lower interest in preparing for the ACT test.
Jefferson City school district superintendent Brian Mitchell said he's worried the district isn’t doing enough to gain interest in the ACT tests and prepare students for the future.
“Our expectations are that all students are going to take the ACT and that we’re going to do everything we can to prepare them to be not only successful on that test, but that test is representative of the schools they would take to a post-secondary program,” Mitchell said. He also said that he wants students' scores to be as competitive as possible with students across the nation.
Students’ test scores are submitted with college applications thus the importance of taking the test. Board president Tami Turner said that after having two kids graduate from high school, she understands the heavy burden of college loans affecting students.
“You can only afford so much and you know the student loans -- when you have to take a student loan out you get out of school and you have your education," she said. "It takes years and years to get caught up on those. It’s a very frustrating situation."
Mitchell agreed with Turner, saying that tuition costs will always be a barrier. He also said that although costs are a factor, better test preparation will help students with a better life once they graduate from high school.