Original URL: http://www.azcentral.com/families/education/articles/1022Fail-Tips-ON.html

To succeed in college, pick high school courses wisely
Gannett News Service
Oct. 22, 2003

WASHINGTON - What students study in high school is the strongest predictor of their success in college, researchers say.

The best bet: Take the challenging math, science and English courses that prepare you for the classes you will see in college.

"It's hard to learn college-level biology, if that's your first exposure to biology," said Drew Scheberle, executive director of the Center for State Scholars. The business-led group is pushing tougher high school coursework.

One model that states are using is the curriculum Texas will require of all public high school students, starting with the high-school freshman class of 2004. It includes:

Four years of English.

At least three years of math (algebra I and II and geometry).

At least three years of science (at least one year of biology and another two years of courses such as physics and chemistry).

At least three and one-half years of history (world history, world geography, U.S. history, U.S. government).

At least two years of one foreign language

Experts advise students to pursue even more challenging work. Taking more advanced math courses such as calculus and trigonometry, for instance, is associated with higher rates of college completion.