Laura Evans and Sharon Hofer, counselors for Mosley High School’s MAPPS (Mosley AP Program for Success) program, have a lot of guts.
Three years ago, the two counselors decided they wanted to dramatically improve the preparation of their program’s graduates for college STEM majors. They invited me in to talk with parents and students at Mosley, but that was the easy part.
The hard part was what Laura and Sharon did – looking their program’s students and parents in the eye and saying that they really needed to take courses like chemistry, physics, precalculus and calculus that many of the students might have found daunting and planned to skip.
The results of Laura’s and Sharon’s determination have been dramatic. The number of Mosley students taking chemistry has tripled. The number of physics students has increased by a factor of ten. More students are taking calculus at Mosley as well.
The resulting cultural shift at Mosley has been tectonic. Even the tour of Florida colleges by a bus full of MAPPS students presently underway provided an illustration of that. At FSU, the Mosley itinerary skipped the usual visit with Admissions officers and the standard campus tour of facilities like residence halls. Instead, the Mosley students visited the university’s National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the College of Medicine.
Excellent teachers – and Mosley certainly has those – and administrators who support the excellence agenda are certainly critically important as well.
But anybody who doubts the importance of counselors who are willing to take a courageous stand for excellence should be convinced by the work that Laura and Sharon have done at Mosley.