Graduation 2012: Math and Science Academy graduates get head start at collegeMost of the 25 graduates from the Woodbury charter school spent part of their senior year attending area universities through a post-secondary enrollment program.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
College won’t be a new experience for many of this year’s Math and Science Academy graduates.
Most of the 25 graduates from the Woodbury charter school spent part of their senior year attending area universities through a post-secondary enrollment program. The students said that gave them an opportunity to take more difficult courses and to earn college credits ahead of high school graduation.
Jeff Gonzalez said he prepared for college by taking a lot of biology classes his senior year.
“It gave you more (course) options,” added Adam Bowlby.
Some students completed nearly enough college credits to enter school in the fall as sophomores.
While many hit the books at area colleges this year, the classwork at MSA also has challenged the students. The school’s curriculum is taught at a faster pace, and procrastination will pose problems, students said. The coursework has a way of weeding out the students who don’t commit to it. This year’s graduating class was larger several years ago.
“People learn from an early age you do work early or get out,” Craig Lee said.
Twenty-four of the 25 graduates were in class together since the sixth grade. They liked knowing all of their classmates and said the smaller school meant there were no cliques. They got along and were comfortable with each other and were not embarrassed to ask questions in class.
“Everybody in the grade’s your friend,” Lee said.
MSA students are from Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Maplewood, Hastings, Stillwater, St. Paul and even Edina. They are planning to attend schools in the Twin Cities and throughout the country.
Being a Math and Science student helped in the college application process, they said.
“I think it opened up our options because I feel like we’re a really respected school,” said Julisa Ricart.