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January: Be What I Want To Be
February: Why Financial Literacy Counts
March: High School Courses Matter
April: Children Need to be Students of Technology
May: The Jobs Gap ... Will Your Child Be Ready?
June: CTE ... Don't Go to College Without It!
October: Maryland Scholars Have it Made
November: Math Matters More Than Ever
December: Science Will Spell Success for Students
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March: High School Courses Matter

Parents Count

High School Courses Matter

The courses your children take in school are one of the best predictors of their success in life. With a strong foundation in high-level English, math and science, your child will have the knowledge and opportunity to follow any career path he or she chooses. Maryland Scholars is an exciting new program that charts the course for success after high school – whether your child goes on to college or enters the workforce directly.

A well-rounded, challenging course of study in English, math, science, social studies and foreign language, Maryland Scholars lays the groundwork for your child to succeed academically and in life.

  • Research proves that students who take more rigorous courses are more successful in life. According to studies by the U.S. Department of Education, high school students who take demanding courses are nearly twice as likely to graduate from college as those who do not. And students who complete a rigorous course of study in high school will earn 13 percent more in the workplace than those who don’t, regardless of whether or not they attend college.

  • High school students need better preparation for college and the workplace. Nearly half of students entering college are required to take remedial classes, and students who need remedial classes are six times more likely to drop out of college than those who do not. Stronger coursework in high school greatly increases a student’s chances of earning a degree or successfully entering a career.

  • Employers have a critical need for better-educated employees. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that, by the year 2010, the U.S. will face a shortage of 12 million qualified workers for the fastest-growing job sectors. Employers in Maryland and elsewhere report having difficulty finding job applicants with good writing and math skills.

Maryland Scholars could be the opportunity your child needs to secure a rewarding future. The key, as a parent, is to make sure your child (as early as elementary school) is taking rigorous coursework that will allow him or her to complete the Maryland Scholars course of study in high school. To learn more, visit


Maryland Scholars: What Parents Need To Do

There are simple things you can do as a parent to ensure your child is attaining the knowledge and skills he or she needs to be successful in life.

If your child is in elementary school:

  • Meet or talk regularly with the teacher about your child's progress in math and reading - mastering the basics is critical.
  • Get help if your child is falling behind.
  • Let your child know that you value learning and have high expectations for him or her.
  • Make sure your school offers science and technology instruction.

If your child is in middle school:

  • Find out if your child is ready for Algebra and, if so, make sure he or she completes Algebra I in middle school. If your child is not ready for Algebra by 8th grade, ask for special help for your child.
  • Expose your child to colleges, careers and talk about goals.
  • Explore magnet schools, their criteria for acceptance and application process. Don’t wait until 8th grade.
  • During 8th grade, your child will select high school courses. Make sure you are involved in the process and encourage your child to take Maryland Scholars coursework.

If your child is in high school:

  • Even though your child is becoming more independent, this is a critical time for you to maintain or increase your involvement in his or her school work and activities.
  • Meet with the guidance counselor each year to review your child's projected course of study and to learn about possible areas of concern.
  • Make sure your child completes the Maryland Scholars course of study.
  • If your child is floundering in any core academic subjects, get help fast. Talk to the teacher and investigate the possibility of after-school help, peer mentoring, summer school, professional tutoring. Whatever it takes, get your child back on track.
  • Check out with your child to explore exciting career fields and what your child needs to accomplish to get a great career.

For more information about Maryland Scholars, visit



U.S. Department of Education Star Schools Program