By Uriel Molina, Staff Writer
The SAT Prep program at Verbum Dei started in the 2016-2017 school year, and it has found a permanent position in the Verbum Dei scholastic junior schedule. Besides the sacrifice of adding a extra period to the entire school’s schedule, the program has shown some positive outcomes of improved student SAT scores for Verbum Dei students.
The SAT program originated back when Verbum Dei worked with Kaiser Permanente Watts, 1465 E 103rd St, Los Angeles, to allow students to take SAT classes after school to enhance their SAT scores. Verbum Dei was aware of universities and colleges admissions becoming more selective with admission. Students with higher SAT scores generally have a higher acceptance rate into such institutions.
“When universities get more selective, it affects students from the inner city,” said Dr. Brandi Odom, VDHS Chief Adcemic Officer.
Inner-city students face some barriers and obstacles to their participation in such preparation programs: not being accepted into the Kaiser Watts SAT preparation program, having to pick up a sibling, to not having sufficient funds; consequently, Verbum Dei administration decided to bring the SAT prep program into the school.
At Verbum Dei, the SAT prep program is known as an equity opportunity for the students.
“Equality is us saying, ‘Everybody should have the opportunity to take the SAT prep program’ …Equity is saying, ‘Everybody should take the SAT prep course because that’s what we know that’s going to get them into college,” said Odom.
The program, which was introduced to Verb in the 2016-2017 school year, was barely beginning and slowly setting itself in as a class. By the 2017-2018 school year, the SAT prep program was officially a 7th period class for the juniors, introducing the 7th-period school wide, expanding the original 6th-period schedule.
Some students were furious with the and made some comments about the new schedule.
“It was unnecessary for them to add another period” said senior Carlos Mejia.” Fellow senior Juan Marroquin added, “They could adjust the extra 7th period just for the juniors.”
However, Odom responded to the complaints.
“I hear my students saying that the day feels longer,” said Odom. “I really do hear it, but I ask myself, so do I cut the SAT program just because the day is shorter and hope everybody gets SAT preparation on his own.”
Furthermore, said Odom, some universities are abandoning or reconsidering the significance of SAT scores because of more universities have proven that SAT results often correspond with income levels and not academic advances.
“University of San Francisco (USF ) has dropped SAT test scores, test scores are optional, more and more university are not requiring test score because the SAT most directly correlates with income, not with academic success,” said Fr. Steven Privett, SJ, VDHS President and former USF President.