Wicomico Schools Work to Ensure USM Math Requirement is Met for Interested Seniors
Wicomico Schools Work to Ensure USM Math Requirement is Met for Interested Seniors
Posted on 10/03/2014

Wicomico County high schools are working with some seniors and their parents/guardians to ensure that the students who want to apply to a University System of Maryland (USM) college or university meet the USM’s new requirement of a “non-trivial” math course during the senior year.

The only students affected are seniors who:

  • have already completed Algebra II
  • were not enrolled in a “non-trivial” math course for their senior year
  • AND are planning to apply to a USM college or university.

Guidance counselors are meeting individually with all students who are potentially affected to discuss each student’s options for meeting the USM admissions requirement. The majority of affected students have decided to enroll in an eligible math class in their high school to meet the requirement. Other options include, but are not limited to, a dual enrollment course at a local college or university, a class through Wicomico County Evening High School, or an online course through Maryland Virtual Learning.

“Most of the students have already decided how they want to proceed in order to meet the University System of Maryland’s new senior year math requirement,” said Micah Stauffer, Director of Secondary Education. “Our schools are making sure that all of these seniors will get the coursework they need to meet the requirement.”

In 2010, the Office of the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) announced that, starting with the Class of 2015, students would need to have four mathematics credits including a course in the senior year. The senior year course would have to be Algebra-intensive and expand on the foundations established in Algebra II.

Diploma requirements set forth by the State of Maryland and Wicomico County, however, only required students to have 3 math credits to graduate. Some students who had completed Algebra, Algebra II and Geometry – including students who finished middle school with 2 math credits for Algebra I and II – didn’t sign up for a math class in their senior year, often because they had already exceeded the diploma requirement and met the USM threshold of 4 math credits.

While the new USM math requirement with math in the senior year was included in Wicomico’s high school course catalog, websites for the 12 USM campuses and admissions contacts for those campuses gave varying information about the new requirement. USM is now aware of these discrepancies, and recently addressed inconsistencies and provided clarifying information to the school system. High schools immediately began reviewing student transcripts and schedules and speaking with students. An explanatory letter was mailed to parents of affected seniors early this week.

In addition to current seniors, any sophomores or juniors who plan to apply to USM campuses should be aware that they must meet the USM requirement for 4 math credits including a math course beyond Algebra II in the senior year. Students and parents/guardians should discuss this with the student’s guidance counselor prior to enrolling in classes for the next school year.

The University System of Maryland includes 12 universities, a college and a center: Salisbury University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Frostburg State University, Towson University, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland, Baltimore, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland University College, and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

Starting with the Class of 2018 – this year’s ninth-grade students – all Maryland students will be required to enroll in a “math related” class all four years of high school to qualify for a diploma, in accordance with the Maryland College and Career Readiness Completion Act of 2013 (Senate Bill 740).