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SAT scores are up for the Union County School District and so is the percentage of students earning college credit while the number of students enrolling in the Adult Education program at its new location continues to grow.
In a report to the Union County Board of School Trustees earlier this month, Chief Academic Officer Cindy Langley announced that, according to information released in September, the College Board “reported an increase of 24 points in the average SAT composite score for Union County High School seniors in the Class of 2016 compared to that of the Class of 2015.”
During the 2015-2016 school year, Langley said the test maker of SAT, the College Board, redesigned the SAT assessment. Langley said that the majority of the class of 2016 took the old SAT which was last administered in January 2016. She said the redesigned SAT was administered first in March 2016.
Langley said that “a total of 127 Union County High School students within the class of 2016 took the SAT assessment prior to March 2016. The percentage of students at Union County High School taking the SAT remained the same for 2016 and 2015 at 51 percent. Overall, the average composite score increased from 1256 to 1280 with reading scores increasing from 422 to 436; math scores increasing from 426 to 436; and writing scores increasing from 408 to 412.”
Statewide, Langley said the average composite score on the SAT for South Carolina public school seniors on critical reading, math, and writing increased 18 points from 1428 to 1446, while the national average for public schools dropped nine points to from 1462 to 1453. She added that statewide critical reading for students attending public schools was 490; math, 490; and writing, 466 compared to national averages for all students 494, 508, and 482 respectively.
Langley said that 26 students from Union County High School scored above the national average of 494 in reading while 32 scored above the national average of 508 in math and 27 scored above the national average of 482 in writing. She said that 31 students met or exceeded the national average for all students of 1,484. Langley said that the average composite score for students in the top 20 percent of the graduating class was 1,488 with a critical reading average of 500, math average of 505, and writing average of 483. She said that reading and writing scores for these students exceed the state and national averages for each area while math scores are higher than the state average and three points below the national average.
In addition, Langley said the average composite score for students who earned a C average or above in the recommended courses was 1,403. The critical reading average for this group was 476; math average, 473; and writing average, 454.
Advanced Placement Exams
Langley also addressed the board on the most recent results of the Advance Placement exams. She said that the College Board reported that 47 percent of the students at Union County High School who took Advanced Placement exams in 2016 scored high enough to earn college credit compared to just percent in 2015.
While the percentage scoring high enough to earn college credit increase, Langley said the number of UCHS students taking Advanced Placement exams decreased from 144 to 133 while the number of exams taken decreased from 199 to 188. She said that students took exams in seven areas: Biology, Calculus AB, English Language and Composition, Human Geography, Psychology, Statistics, US History, and World History.
To earn college credit on Advanced Placement exams, a student must score a three or higher on a five-point scale. Students scored 3s, 4s, and 5s on 85 exams in 2016 compared to 65 exams in 2015.
Langley said that 77 percent of the students who took the AP US History exam at Union County High School earned a 3 or better compared to the state average of 56 percent. She said 61 percent of the students at Union County High School earned a three or better on the AP Psychology exam, which was just shy of the state percentage of 64 percent.
In addition, Langley said that six students at UCHS were named AP Scholars for scoring 3 or higher on 3 exams; 4 students were named AP Scholars with Honors for receiving an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, or for scoring 3 or higher on four or more of AP exams; and one student was named an AP Scholar with Distinction for scoring at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, or for scoring 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
Dual Credit Participation
In addition to earning college credit through Advanced Placement exams, students at Union County High School also earn college credit by taking dual credit courses while in high school.
Langley said that last year 98 students earned 705 hours of college credit compared to 97 students earning 744 hours in 2015. She said that UCHS students had the opportunity to take 17 different courses with the following institutions: Spartanburg Community College, USC Union, and Winthrop University.
Also, Langley pointed out that “students who take six college hours (two courses) each semester may be eligible for funding through the South Carolina Education Lottery. Courses are taught both at the high school campus by Union County High School teachers who meet the credentials for higher education and at the college or university campus by their instructors. Parents and students wanting more information about dual credit courses should contact the guidance counselors at Union County High School.”
The district’s Adult Education program has been relocated from Main Street to the Union County Campus of Spartanburg Community College on US 176 and Langley that Adult Ed class began there Aug. 22.
“By the end of September, 69 students had enrolled, and 38 of the students had both taken the TABE placement test and attended for 12 hours to be considered a fundable student,” Langley said. “That compares to an enrollment of 85 students at the end of September 2015 with 62 fundable students.
“We need to note that the enrollment for 2015 also includes student information for nine days in July 2015,” she said. “We were not able to offer summer classes in July 2016 at Adult Education because of the move.”
Langley added that new new students had enrolled that morning “following the publicity in the local papers and the officials at SCC are working with Pearson Vue to set up the equipment so that students will be able to take the GED at the new campus. Students meeting the requirements are currently taking the GED Ready in preparation to take the GED.”