This item originally appeared in the October 14, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By ERIN BASS
Tech has the highest average and is tied with the University of Louisiana - Monroe for the second largest point increase in ACT score average from fall enrollment.
Eight universities are part of the University of Louisiana System, which has seen an overall half a point increase in ACT score averages from 19.7 in 2003 to 20.2 in 2004.
Grambling State University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Louisiana -Lafayette and University of Louisiana - Monroe are the seven universities, along with Tech, that make up the UL System.
"I am very pleased with fall figures," Dr. Kenneth Rea, vice president for academic affairs, said. "Tech has always recruited top-quality students, and this increase reflects that."
According to the UL System, the fall 2003 average of 21.8, also the highest in the system, increased seven-tenths of a point to 22.5.
Tech's increase has also surpassed the state average by three-tenths of a point and the national average by four-tenths.
"One-tenth of a point increase is not unusual but not typical," Ed Colby, ACT Assessment spokesperson, said. "So, seven-tenths of a point is quite an achievement."
Colby said ACT content is constant, so it would not be a factor in the recent increase.
Pamela Ford, dean of enrollment management and marketing and public relations, said selective admissions played a role in attracting quality students.
"Academically-qualified students want to attend classes, study and work with the same high-achieving students just like them," Ford said. "[Selective admissions] is almost like a guarantee they will be on the same academic equilibrium."
Sam Pernici, education research analysis manager for the Louisiana Department of Education, said another factor is the curriculum a student takes in high school.
"It was found that students who took core curriculum scored 3.2 points higher than students who did not," Pernici said. "The need for remedial courses by [first time freshmen] is also becoming less and less."
David Cossey, a freshman basic engineering major, said he can attest to the benefits of core and advanced placement classes.
Cossey said the first time he took the ACT he scored a 25, and when he took it a second time he scored a 27.
"Taking physics and calculus in high school definitely helped me out with my ACT score," Cossey said.
"I think I would have been completely lost if I wouldn't have taken those classes."
According to admission requirements, effective fall 2005, all applicants will have to complete the Board of Regents high school core curriculum.
Applicants must require no more than one remedial course and must make at least a composite score of 15 on the ACT.
Selective admissions are part of the Board of Regents Master Plan for Postsecondary Education: 2001.