irish-eyesCollege entrance requirements continue to rise! In 2011 the average freshman student entering the University of Oklahoma had a 3.5 GPA exiting high school, and scored a 25 composite on the ACT. This year those averages have increased to 3.75 and 26.7.

OU is not alone in raising the bar. Like OU, a 24 on the ACT is required for automatic entrance into Oklahoma State University. While OU has gone to the Common Core Application process for entrance, OSU continues to provide an avenue for entrance by using GPA and class rank. Our other in state universities have continued to demand higher secondary school performances as well.

The message is clear. Colleges across the country are demanding a higher level of academic performances from high school graduates wishing to enter. The ACT serves as a benchmark to determine a students readiness for the rigorous demands of college course work.

I applaud State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister’s announcement that will provide free access to the ACT for all juniors from Oklahoma school districts opting to participate. Junior year may be too late to correct academic deficiencies.

This year 100% of our sophomores will take the ACT exam on our campus with no additional charge to our families. We believe it is imperative to determine a students academic deficiencies as quickly as possible!. Once identified, students and parents will have the opportunity to counsel with Dr. Worthington and outline a plan of action to rectify any deficiencies. All of our students will be strongly encouraged to take the ACT a minimum of two more times in an attempt to earn their highest composite score.

Besides the all important composite score, ACT has established benchmark scores in four key academic areas; Math, English, Reading and Science. Proficiency in these areas indicate to the colleges that the student is capable of academic success in these core curriculum areas.

McGuinness students have been scoring at or above a 26 on their composite ACT score for the past three years. With this level of success, our students are demonstrating their college readiness by out performing public school students across the state by 30-40% on benchmark standards. We believe these statistics speak well of our students overall academic performance, but we can improve!!

Identifying and addressing reading deficiencies as our freshman enter high school, providing an ACT exam for all sophomores to create a baseline score, continuing to increase the number of students who take at least one Advanced Placement class before graduation (70% of the class of 2015 took at least one AP class), appropriate curriculum selection, and working with students and families to identify and correct academic deficiencies will give every student the best possible chance to not only gain college entrance, but ensure success in the college classroom.

Finally, there were 164 graduates in the class of 2015. Over 99% are enrolled in college this fall. Of those, 40% chose to attend college out of state. The class earned over 8 million dollars in grants and scholarships. If past statistics remain constant, over 80% will earn a bachelors degree within the next five years. It is clear to see the investment our families are making at the high school level is making a clear difference at the college level and beyond.

Sincerely in Christ,

David Morton