Access, Opportunity and Student Choice: Preparing Students for College

By: | January 5, 2019
District Name: Access, Opportunity and Student Choice: Preparing Students for College
District State: New York
District Website:

Rigor has provided more options for students at Commack Union Free School District.

With nearly 98 percent of its graduates going on to college each year—and 80 percent earning a Regents diploma with advanced designation—Commack Union developed a well-rounded college preparatory curriculum that features coursework sponsored by the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and Project Lead the Way programs.

The more rigorous courses allow students to participate in college-level learning activities that focus on research, higher-level thinking, and organizational and analytical skills.

The courses—which range from biology and English to design technology and business management—involve more innovative instruction strategies as well as traditional class work such as labs, essays and reports. Parent advisory meetings and college planning nights also support the initiative.

The district does not mandate participation in the program. Still, nearly 90 percent of the class of 2015 enrolled in at least one course, which leads to a 6 percent increase over 2013 in the number of students going to both “very competitive” and “highly competitive” colleges.