Chemistry enrollments in Florida’s district high schools have dropped 9% in two years

Fall 2017 chemistry enrollments in Florida’s district high schools are 9% lower than they were in Fall 2015, according to data available from the Florida Department of Education.

The enrollment numbers used here exclude dual enrollment courses, which are no longer reported by the FLDOE.

chem_time_series_total

The decline is almost entirely due to an enrollment decrease in the non-Honors Chemistry 1 course.

chem_time_series_courses

I reported in January that high school physics enrollments in district high schools are down 8% since Fall 2014.  The decline in physics enrollments is led by a sharp decrease in non-Honors Physics 1 – a situation similar to that in chemistry.

Along with physics, chemistry is one of the high school science courses recommended by the American Society for Engineering Education for students who are considering college engineering majors.  Chemistry also plays a key role in undergraduate programs for students planning to enter health professions.

I decided to take a look at the chemistry numbers after Orange County Public Schools Senior Administrator for Secondary Science Rebecca Ray mentioned a decrease in chemistry enrollments during her visit with two colleagues to the FSU Physics Department to recruit math and science teachers late last month.

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