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CSU Math Requirements

Senior year for high school students is full of the excitement that comes with culminating school dances, senior trips, activities, and traditionally more relaxed schedules than the previous three years. However, in the near future, high school seniors headed to Cal State schools may have to hold off on bidding adieu to their math tutors in order to complete an extra year-long math course before graduation.

This spring, the California State University Academic Senate approved a resolution that would increase the admissions requirement for high school math courses from three years to four. The resolution recommends that high school seniors complete an extra year long course in traditional mathematics or related courses such as statistics, computer science, or coding before heading to university.

CSU Stanislaus Professor Steven Filling of the Academic Senate stated, “We’ve seen real differences in students who took math every year (in high school) from those who didn’t.” 

Indeed, the recent statistics from the CSU system point out the marked need for the extra focus on math skills requirements. Last fall, 27 percent of entering college freshmen required remedial courses in mathematics, and almost the same number had not taken a fourth year of high school math. To help bridge this achievement gap, the state budget plan approved last month outlined $3 million to encourage development of a mathematics course for high school seniors.

According to the Education Commission of the States, two-thirds of US states required a fourth year of mathematics for admission to their state university system. With these new admission requirements, California would join the majority of state universities in their demand for strong quantitative literacy skills in college students.

Chancellor Timothy White and the CSU Board of Trustees must approve these next steps before any changes are implemented, but the proposal has already gotten strong support from the CSU’s Chancellor’s Office. CSU Dean Leo Van Cleve wholeheartedly agreed in a letter to the Academic Senate, stating “We agree that requiring students to take a fourth year of math while in high school is in the interest of student success.”

If the recommendations are approved, a fourth year of high school math would most likely lead to a major reorganization in the yearly progression of math courses throughout California’s school districts. These changes would be mostly focused on students in middle school through 12th grade, as they advance from taking basic math courses like Geometry to high-concept math classes, such as Algebra 2 and Calculus.

Our in-home math tutors know firsthand that mathematics is overall one of the most common school subjects that students struggle with.  However, in our modern world, quantitative reasoning skills form a crucial foundation for future success in college and careers. Student success is maximized when students have continued practice in developing specific skills, and so math tutoring is an excellent way to support your student in meeting these new increased college admission requirements.

Our REACH tutors are credentialed teachers that are experts in every level of math, and our one-on-one tutoring style ensures that your student will be successful throughout their academic careers. We are proud to serve students across Chino Hills, Orange County, Los Angeles, Alameda County, San Diego, and Contra Costa County. Contact us today to discover how we can support your student’s success in every subject!

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