Policy Recommendations for Implementing Readiness/Transitional Courses


To increase college and career readiness, SREB recommends 12 essential elements of state policy that are needed to develop and implement high school readiness/transitional courses in literacy and math. These policy elements are based on the organization’s experience and practice in this area, vetted through groups of SREB state legislators, state agency and board members, practicing educators and other experts. SREB recommends that every state that is planning implementation of transitional curricula consider these elements. A detailed discussion, including the elements, is available in the full report at right.


  1. Ensure that readiness/transitional courses or modules are based on the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards that are in the Common Core State Standards.
  2. Ensure that all public postsecondary institutions recognize and apply the same standards in their student placement processes statewide. 

Readiness Assessments

  1. Ensure that all students (or a certain range of students based on achievement) be assessed for college readiness no later than the junior year. 
  2. Ensure that the qualifying scores on assessment(s) used to identify students who need the courses are strongly associated with success in in first-year, credit-bearing courses in college.
  3. Ensure that students assessed as meeting the readiness standards will not have to take a placement exam for entry-level courses once admitted to postsecondary education, although additional testing may be required to determine specific courses that are beyond basic, entry level.

Readiness/Transitional Course Implementation

  1. Ensure that all public high schools statewide offer readiness/transitional courses and that students take the courses if they do not perform at or above the cut score. 
  2. Ensure that the readiness/transitional courses carry high school credit and are eligible to be funded through the public school funding formula. 
  3. Ensure that the math readiness/transitional course is creditable as a fourth-year math course in high school. 
  4. Ensure that all public postsecondary institutions and agencies are partners with K-12 in developing, testing, evaluating and revising readiness/transitional courses. 
  5. Ensure that public postsecondary institutions statewide recognize that the successful completion of a readiness/transitional course means readiness to begin credit-bearing, college-level courses without remediation. 
  6. Provide professional development on the readiness/transitional courses to all high school teachers. 
  7. Develop a statewide system for evaluation of the readiness/transitional courses and professional development activities to determine their effectiveness and impact on increasing the numbers of students leaving high school college- and career-ready.