Topic: College and Career Readiness


College and Career Readiness

Today’s workplace requires most Americans to have some form of education beyond high school. Yet more than half of high school students are not graduating well-prepared to be successful in credit-bearing, entry-level courses in colleges or technical schools.

Solving this problem is complex and requires navigating many educational issues on a statewide level. SREB is tackling the challenge head-on, with work to help states in a number of areas.

SREB’s Agenda for College and Career Readiness

Based on years of experience with member states, SREB has developed and refined a model college- and career-readiness agenda that defines the key steps each state should take to improve students’ readiness statewide. SREB recommends that state policy should address each of these elements.

Adopt statewide college-readiness standards, that K-12 and postsecondary institutions agree on, for literacy and mathematics skills.

Assess high school juniors on their progress toward achieving the readiness standards.

Offer transitional readiness courses and require juniors assessed as underprepared to take the classes in 11th or 12th grade.

Apply the standards in postsecondary institutions, in deciding whether students are placed in credit-bearing courses or need additional learning support after they are admitted.

Hold schools accountable for increasing postsecondary readiness as an important criterion in school accountability systems.

Publication February 20161 page(16V05)

Math Ready
Ready for College

SREB’s Math Ready course for the senior year of high school is designed to prepare students who aren’t yet ready for college math. This flier presents a quick overview of the eight units in the course.




State Definitions of College and Career Readiness

SREB has worked with almost every state in the region and many states outside of the South on developing college-readiness policies and practices and assisting with implementation of both. SREB’s comprehensive readiness agenda highlights five key elements for success in increasing students’ readiness for a variety of postsecondary and workforce pursuits.


State Policies to Support a Statewide College- and Career-Readiness Agenda
Policy Brief

Since 2006, the Southern Regional Education Board has supported statewide college- and career readiness initiatives in many states across the region. SREB has worked side by side with states as they implemented policies and practices. This hands-on experience, including deep discussions with state policy-makers, educational leaders and state legislators, has led to clarifications and conclusions about the purpose and focus of these readiness initiatives and the kinds of state policies needed to support them.

Publication Dave SpenceNovember 20138 pages

State Policies to Support a Statewide College- and Career-Readiness Agenda
Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion

A statewide college- and career-readiness agenda signals clearly and universally what knowledge and learning skills or readiness standards are essential for students to succeed in a substantial majority of postsecondary education programs. The standards need to be reinforced by a series of additional steps that include assessment, supplemental course work, and school accountability. SREB’s College- and Career-Readiness Action Agenda includes five essential components across the educational pipeline: 1. Adopt statewide readiness standards. 2. Assess high school juniors for readiness. 3. Offer transitional readiness courses for juniors assessed as underprepared. 4. Apply the standards in college placement. 5. Hold schools accountable.


Publication Megan RootJanuary 20138 pages

Transitional Courses for College and Career Readiness
Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion

Offering high school courses to prepare underprepared students for success in college or career training after graduation is a key strategy to reduce remediation, increase postsecondary completion and provide greater access to making a living wage. This Essential Elements policy brief details efforts in states across the nation, outlines questions policymakers need to address, and recommends 12 essential elements for an effective statewide policy to implement transitional courses.


Publication June 201014 pages

Beyond the Rhetoric:
Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy

This brief addresses the state policy dimensions of college readiness. It identifies the key issues and problems associated with the college readiness gap, which is a major impediment to increasing the numbers of college students who complete certificates or degrees. This policy brief also provides governors, legislators, and state education leaders with specific steps they need to take to close the readiness gaps in their states. These findings and recommendations were prepared by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).