New USM Admissions Policy: Four Years of High School Math
The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents in
December 2009 approved a new academic policy that requires incoming freshman
undergraduates to have completed four years of high school math. The
requirement applies to student applicants who entered ninth grade in fall 2011.
The purpose of these requirements is to keep students' mathematics
skills ready for college-level requirements.
The coursework must include Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra
II. Students who complete Algebra II before their senior year must also
complete the fourth-year-math requirement. They can do so by taking a course
during their senior year that is intensive in algebra and expands on algebra foundations developed during Algebra II.
The USM expects that the requirement of an
"algebra intensive" math in the final year of high school enrollment
will improve the preparation of students to successfully complete college-level
Based upon various educational studies regarding
mathematics proficiency, the USM anticipates that the number of students who
require remediation will decrease. Therefore, fewer students will require the
time-consuming step of completing remedial math courses before taking math
classes for credit to their degree.
During the summer of 2009, a committee comprising faculty,
admissions and enrollment management professionals from the Maryland State
Department of Education was established to make recommendations for revisions
to the Board of Regents policy on undergraduate admissions. These revisions
were sought to better align high school students with the preparation necessary
to succeed at USM institutions.
Review of USM undergraduate policies developed in part from a report, "Coming
to Our Senses," issued by the College Board's Commission on Access, Admissions
and Success in Higher Education. USM Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan chairs
The report defined an ambitious goal of
ensuring that least 55 percent of Americans hold a postsecondary degree by
2025. Toward that goal, the commission recommended a 10-part action agenda that
included aligning kindergarten-through-12th-grade students with
"international standards and college admissions expectations -- so that
all students are prepared for future college, work and life."
proposed revisions were widely disseminated among provosts at USM institutions,
student affairs vice presidents, faculty, and numerous stakeholders within the
state's K-12 education community.
proposed revisions were reviewed first by the Board of Regents Committee on
Education Policy at its November 2009 meeting before being approved by the
Board of Regents Committee of the Whole in December 2009 for implementation in
Contact: Mike Lurie