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NMSI’s College Readiness Program Expands for the First Time to Louisiana

With the school year winding to a close, most students and teachers have their sights set on summer vacation, but two high schools in Louisiana – Bossier High and Parkway High – have their sights set even further ahead. Thanks to a $919,618 grant from the Department of Defense and Educational Activity Fund, Bossier Parish Schools has become the first district in the state of Louisiana to implement NMSI’s College Readiness Program.
The two military-connected high schools will share the grant money to provide their teachers with NMSI’s rigorous, hands-on professional development program over the summer. The grant will also  provide the resources and support needed to help the schools’ increase student enrollment and passing scores in college-level Advanced Placement (AP)* courses. Students enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to participate in additional Saturday Study Sessions, which provide different and more focused perspectives on specific academic topics. Students who pass their AP exams will earn $100 for each qualifying score. We’ve interviewed teachers and students in the past about the impact of our program, and all agree that having the extra resources, focused study sessions, and cash incentives are key components in helping them achieve academic success.
“We are honored and very excited that the National Math & Science Initiative has selected Bossier and Parkway High Schools to participate in this unique opportunity,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent D.C. Machen. “This collaboration will not only provide the venue for each of these schools to dramatically increase the number of students pursuing Advance Placement Courses and achieve the highest rankings on their accompanying AP Exams, but will provide enhanced training, resources, and initiatives to improve the quality of instruction for a large pool of educators within our system. We appreciate the on-going partnership the Bossier Parish School system has maintained throughout the years with Barksdale Air Force Base and their assistance in helping us to receive this grant.”
The results of our efforts have led to student and teacher success nationwide. NMSI’s College Readiness program has impacted teachers and students in 560 schools across 22 states – 71 of which are military-connected like the two Bossier schools – and historically it has yielded incredible results. Last year, schools participating in our program saw an average first-year increase of 72% in the number of passing math, science, and English AP scores – 10 times the national average of 7.2%. The results were even more impressive for female students in AP math and science courses, who saw an average first-year increase of 87%, which helps NMSI’s program schools close the gender gap in STEM. Furthermore, research shows that students enrolled in our program are 22% more likely to persist in college than students not enrolled in the program.
We are thrilled to have this amazing opportunity to work with the teachers in these two Louisiana high schools, and we’re not alone in our excitement! Check out the great video from their local KTBS news station.