CPS Beat National Trends

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools are trying to do what many high schools around the nation are having trouble doing, getting their students prepared for college.

A survey done on Youth on Education by the Associated Press and Viacom suggests that many schools around the country are lacking in programs and services that help guide students and prepare them for higher education or even the working world.

Columbia Board of Education president, Dr. Tom Rose, says Columbia is headed down the right track though. He says guidance in Columbia high schools does a lot to help students succeed in school and get a foot up on the competition. Right now, Columbia Public Schools is looking into paying for students to take the ACT in school.

Although the survey shows most students gave their schools low marks on preparing them, almost two-thirds still say they want to earn at least a four-year degree.

Student Natalie Fischer is a senior student at Rock Bridge High School and says she plans to attend the University of Missouri in the fall. She says Rock Bridge has done a good job with getting her ready for college curriculum. She is involved in a program called A-Plus which allows students to earn tuition and fees to a two-year college as well as earn college credits.

Only about one-third of today's 25-34 year-olds have earned a bachelor's degree or higher according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Rose says he feels that the problem may not be at the secondary level, but at the elementary level.