State Board of Education emphasizes individual plans of study to address new university admission standards

Some State Board of Education members on Wednesday said schools will have to increase emphasis on individual plans of study to address changes in university admission standards.

Last year, the Kansas Board of Regents approved changes in the “qualified admissions” to public universities — changes that should increase the number of high school graduates eligible to attend state universities, .

For years, Emporia State, Fort Hays State, Kansas State, Pittsburg State and Wichita State required most entering freshmen to have a minimum ACT composite score of 21 or rank in the top third of their graduating class; and to complete a college prep curriculum of 16 specific units, which includes courses in English, math, science, social studies and electives. The University of Kansas has required either a minimum 21 ACT score and a 3.25 grade point average or a minimum 24 ACT score and a 3.0 GPA, as well as the prep curriculum.   

Under the new plan, ESU, FHSU, PSU and WSU would require a 21 ACT or higher or a 2.25 GPA, and KSU would require a 21 ACT or 3.25 GPA. KU’s ACT and GPA requirements would remain the same.   

For all the institutions, the pre-college curriculum in high school is being recommended but not required as a condition of admission.   

KSDE officials said the changes will necessitate the need for individual plans of study for every student. Once admitted to a university, students will need to know what else they need to have to get in the program they want. These standards are usually higher than the minimum admission standards.

Board member Ann Mah said some schools aren’t doing a good job implementing individual plans of study.

Board Chair Kathy Busch responded, saying “Do we need to get better? Yes, absolutely.”

Busch said she thought one way to improve individual plans of study is to emphasize the importance of parent-teacher conferences.


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