Local high school grads perform well at UMO

11 years ago

Local high school grads perform well at UMO

By Scott Mitchell Johnson
Staff Writer

    PRESQUE ISLE — Donna Lisnik, principal of Presque Isle High School, has always known that PIHS students are smart and hardworking. Now officials at the University of Maine at Orono know that, too.

    At the October SAD 1 board meeting, Lisnik reviewed with directors the results of a new student survey and other admissions data compiled by the University of Maine. The enrollment data is based on first-year, full-time students entering the university in the fall semesters of 2008-12.
    “Of 70 PIHS first-generation respondents, 7 percent attended the University of Maine, compared to 18 percent of students from other Maine high schools,” said Lisnik. “The SAT scores for those actually enrolled at the university was an average of 1115, while the state average was 1076, so our students did better on their SATs.
    “Only 8 percent of our students were put in the explorations/foundations program which gives them some additional help their first year to make sure that they’re going to be successful. The statewide average was 21 percent, which tells me that our students were very well prepared to enter college,” she said. “Seventy-eight percent of our students said they were well prepared or very well prepared for UMaine coursework. Statewide, the average was 72.”
    Thirty percent of PIHS students from 2008-12 were enrolled in the university’s engineering program, 26 percent were studying natural sciences, forestry and agriculture, while 15 percent were in the liberal arts and sciences program.
    Fifty-six percent of the students earned a first-year grade point average of 3.0 or higher compared to 40 percent for the state.
    “The actual mean GPA after their first semester was 3.0 while the first-year average was 2.98,” said Lisnik. “The state mean GPA average for both the first semester and the first year was the same at 2.68. Our students also had a higher mean GPA in English, math, foreign languages, as well as social, physical and biological sciences. That’s amazing.
    “The other important finding is that 83 percent of our students were still enrolled after their first year compared to 78 percent statewide,” she said. “That’s encouraging because it tells me that our students want to complete their college education. PIHS students are doing very, very well in college and I’m very proud of them.”