Search: 08/2017

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College and Career Readiness Definitions

Most SREB states have one definition for college and career readiness while some states define college readiness and career readiness separately. As states continue to focus on postsecondary preparedness for their students, SREB encourages states to consider revisiting their definitions over time to ensure the definition, goals and policies are aligned and relevant.

See below for a look at each state’s college and career readiness definitions. (Updated August 2019)

Defining Readiness in SREB States

This is a map showing which SREB states define college and career readiness. Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina do not define college and career readiness at the state level. All other SREB states have a statewide definition.


SREB Regional Overview

SREB states continue to update and refine their policies related to high school completion and postsecondary admission. States have developed and reformed their assessment and accountability systems, made strides in aligning high school graduation and college admission requirements, and offered more college and career planning. Highlights of recent changes include the following examples. (Updated October 2019)


Postsecondary Feedback to High Schools

Statewide policies govern postsecondary feedback reports to high schools. These contain information such as college enrollment rates and performance of recent graduates. These reports help to influence K-12 education policies and inform schools on whether they are adequately preparing graduates for postsecondary endeavors. (Updated August 2019)


State Financial Aid for Undergraduates

States provide different types and amounts of aid to undergraduate students for postsecondary education. State financial aid typically falls under three categories: merit-based, need-based and non-grant-based. Merit aid is usually awarded for a student’s academic achievements in high school, as well as for special talents and unique traits, such as musical or athletic skills. Need-based aid is usually reserved for low-income students, and non-grant aid includes loan and work study programs. Most SREB states allocate more funding to merit-based aid. See below for each state’s financial aid provisions. (Updated August 2019)


Postsecondary Placement Policies

Placement policies are set by individual institutions or at the state-level, sometimes by institution type. Institutions use placement policies to determine whether students are permitted to take college-credit courses or are required to take remedial courses. Factors considered in student placement include standardized exam score submissions, placement plans, and college-level coursework completed during high school. See below for each state’s postsecondary placement policies. (Updated August 2019)


Postsecondary Admissions Requirements

Admission policies are set either at the state level, by an institutional governing board, or by individual institutions. Policies may also vary by institution type, such as four-year and two-year technical schools. Admissions requirements may include high school courses, high school grade-point average, and standardized exam score submissions. See below for each state’s postsecondary admissions requirements. (Updated August 2019)


Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Accelerated learning options provide students the opportunity to take college-level and career technical courses while in high school, sometimes for college credit. Options include dual enrollment and dual credit courses, early college enrollment, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses and credit by exam. See below for each state’s accelerated learning options. (Updated August 2019)


High School Graduation Requirements

Requirements for the standard high school diploma vary across states. Differences include required coursework and credit minimums, diploma pathway options and designations or endorsements, high school assessments and related scores. (Updated August 2019)


College and Career Planning in K-12

To help students prepare for college or a career by the end of high school, many SREB states have implemented college- and career-planning measures that begin as early as sixth grade. These include activities such as student success or graduation planning, meeting with advisors, tutoring, mentoring, and exploring possible careers. Many states have programs aimed at supporting underserved groups such as minority and low-income students who traditionally struggle to succeed in high school. See below for each state’s college and career planning policies. (Updated July 2019)