State College And Career Readiness Standards and Definitions



Alabama adopted the Alabama College- & Career-Ready Standards (CCCRS) in 2010. Beginning with the class that entered the 9th grade in 2013-2014, all students are required to complete the 24-credit required curriculum to earn an Alabama High School Diploma. Beginning in 2014, the ACT is administered to all 11th graders, and the ACT WorkKeys to all seniors beginning in the spring of 2015. Achieving college-readiness on one or more assessments (ACT, ACT WorkKeys, IB, AP, etc.) is separate from and not required for high school graduation.


Arkansas’s Academic Standards define the knowledge and skills Arkansas’ students should have in order to be ready for college and careers. Arkansas requires that student’s must be assessed for college and career readiness before graduating from high school. If they do meet established benchmarks for college and career readiness at least one of the approved assessments (ACT, PLAN, PSAT, Compass, ASSET or PARCC) the school must provide a transitional course designed to help them reach college and career readiness. All Arkansas 11th grade students enrolled in a public or charter school are given the opportunity to take the ACT during the spring of their junior year at no cost to the student. Parents may request that their student not participate.


Delaware adopted the Common Core State Standards to promote the skills and concepts required for college and career readiness. Beginning in 2016, a high school student must complete a 24-credit curriculum including 4 units each of English and math to graduate. Also, beginning in 2016, the SAT was identified as the state college-readiness assessment for 11th grade students. The SAT is administered to all high school juniors at no cost. Students who exceed the college and career ready benchmarks set by individual institutions of higher education (IHE) are exempt from placement testing and remediation in college. Students who choose to participate in a pilot transitional course in high school and pass with a 77 or higher are also exempt.


The Florida Department of Education has established college and career ready competencies in Writing, Reading and Mathematics. Florida has a statewide college-readiness assessment instrument ─ the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT). Beginning in 2016, local school districts have the option of administering it to their students, usually in the junior year. Beginning in spring 2014, students who graduate from a Florida public high school with a standard high school diploma are exempt from placement testing, are deemed college and career ready and may enter college coursework without a readiness assessment. However, a recent high school graduate can opt to take the PERT and enroll in an appropriate level of developmental instruction.  To earn a standard high school diploma, students must complete a prescribed 24-credit curriculum with a 2.0 GPA or better and successfully pass all required end-of-course assessments.


Georgia has established a College and Career Ready Performance Index to communicate expectations to all Georgia public school students. Georgia Milestones end-of-course assessments determine high school student progress and readiness for college and career. High school students take end of course measures (EOC) for each of ten courses associated with the EOC measures. Starting in 2016-17, juniors not meeting readiness standards in math will be able to take a senior year transition math course. The course will be available, but is not required.


In response to legislation passed in 2009, the Kentucky Department of Education created a plan for college/career readiness including more rigorous standards and assessment benchmarks. The Kentucky Performance Rating for Education Progress (K-PREP) assesses students from elementary to high school. A series of diagnostic assessments, using the ACT suite of assessments, are required for public school students ─ high school readiness in grade 8, college readiness in grade 10 and college admissions and placement in grade 11. In addition, ACT End-of-Course examinations are required in Biology, Algebra II, English II, and U.S. history. Students not meeting the standards are required to enroll in an intervention program in the senior year or between the junior and senior year. Students meeting college- and career- readiness standards in high school are deemed ready and do not have to undergo placement testing upon entering postsecondary education, and cannot be remediated.


Louisiana has adopted the Louisiana Student Standards designed to prepare students for college and a career. The state requires all public high schools to administer the ACT or ACT Work Keys to all 11th graders. The state pays for one administration; students who choose to re-take the ACT do so at their own expense. End-of-course examinations in Algebra 1, Geometry, English II, English III, Biology and U.S. History are also required. Transitional, readiness or bridge courses are available but not required. Students meeting the College and Career Ready Standards may enter credit bearing courses at any state supported IHE to which they have been admitted.


The Maryland State Board of Education has adopted the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards. To earn a diploma, all high school students must complete a minimum of 21 credits including English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, receive a passing grade in Biology and U.S. Government and, depending on the course, pass the Maryland High School Assessment and/or the PARCC. A student who does not meet benchmarks is required to complete an individualized Bridge Plan project.


In 2016, The Mississippi State Board of Education adopted revised Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts. The legislature requires all 11th graders take the ACT. The state pays for one administration. Students who choose to retake the ACT do so at their own expense. Transitional courses (SREB Math and Literacy Readiness) are offered to seniors who have an ACT sub-score between 15-18, but are not required.


North Carolina’s Standard Course of Study strives to prepare all students to become career and college ready. All public and charter school students enrolled in grade 11 for the first time are required to take the ACT. In 2013-14, A college- and career- readiness indicator was added to the Academic Achievement Descriptors for the End-of-Grade (EPG) and End-of-Course (EOC) assessments. North Carolina is in the process of piloting programs introducing college developmental math, reading and English into the curriculum for the high school senior year to be fully implemented in 2107-2018.


The goal of the Oklahoma Academic Standards is to prepare all students to be college and career ready upon graduation from high school. Beginning in 2017, school districts can choose whether to have their high school juniors take the ACT or the SAT free of charge. In 2017-2018, all juniors will be required to take one of these college- and career- readiness exams. If a student meets the ACT cut score (or a cut score on another valid measure), they may be placed in a college-level courses without additional placement testing. Beginning in 2017-2018 the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) will pilot the SREB Math Ready Senior Transition Course, and will provide students at all grade levels remediation opportunities to successfully progress to and through college-level English courses.


The South Carolina Department of Education adopted college- and career- readiness standards effective for the 2015-2016 school year. South Carolina requires that all 11th grade students take ACT WorkKeys. Further, to earn a South Carolina high school diploma, students are required to pass a high school credit course in science and United States history and four gateway courses (English, math, science and social studies) in which a state authorized end-of-course examination, aligned to the South Carolina College and Career Ready Standards, is administered. End-of-course examinations comprise 20 percent of the student’s final course grade.


Tennessee’s college- and career- readiness standards define the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in postsecondary study or careers. The state implemented the Tennessee Diploma Project (TDP) in 2009 as part of an initiative to raise academic standards and better align high school curricula with postsecondary expectations. To receive a regular high school diploma, all students must complete a 22-credit curriculum and, beginning with the graduating class of 2018, complete the ACT or SAT in their junior year of high school. Students who choose to retake a college-readiness exam (ACT or SAT) in their senior year can do so free of cost on a specified state testing date, regardless of socioeconomic status. Through the Tennessee Response to Instruction and Intervention Framework (RTI2) schools, at all grade levels, are directed to use data from a variety of sources to develop Early Warning Systems (EWS). The data from the EWS is used to identify students in need of skills-specific interventions, remediation, re-teaching and enrichment. The goal is for every student to graduate from high school ready for college and career.


The Texas College and Career Readiness Standards define what students should know and accomplish in order to succeed in entry-level college courses or skilled workforce opportunities. Students entering 9th grade in 2014-2015 or later have the option of graduating under the 22 credit Foundation High School Program with at least one 4-credit endorsement. The Foundation High School program with endorsement is the default graduation requirement. A student, with written approval of parent/guardian and a high school official, may be permitted to graduate without an endorsement. High school students are required to pass five State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course exams, counting 15 percent toward the final grade in each course, to meet graduation requirements. Students who have failed no more than two of the required end-of-course exams are eligible for Individual Graduation Committee (IGC) review and may be given permission to use scores on the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment in lieu of scores on the required STAAR assessments. Districts are required to provide remediation to a student at any grade level who fails a STARR assessment.


The Virginia College and Career Readiness Initiative is designed to ensure that college and career-ready standards are taught in all Virginia high schools. In Virginia, to graduate with a Standard Diploma a student must earn at least 22 credits and earn at least six verified credits by passing end-of-course Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. Beginning with students entering 9th grade in 2013-2014, a student must also earn a career and technical education credential and successfully complete one virtual course (credit or non-credit). To graduate with an Advanced Studies Diploma a student must earn between 24 and 26 credits and earn at least nine verified credits as well as one virtual course. Students substitute approved tests (e.g., AP, IB, ACT, SAT, Cambridge International, CLEP) for the end-of-course SOL tests to receive verified credit. Students who fail one or more of the SOL tests are required to receive remediation.

In September 2017, legislation will be enacted that directs the Virginia Board of Education to establish high school graduation requirements emphasizing flexibility and competency-based learning. The new requirements will apply to students entering high school as a freshman after July 1, 2018.


The West Virginia College and Career Readiness Standards define the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to be successful in postsecondary education and/or training leading to employment. All students currently take the West Virginia General Summative Assessment (WVGSA) in 11th grade to determine college-readiness. Students who score a 3 or 4 on the WVGSA are exempt from having to take non-credit-bearing, remedial courses. Students who do not meet the state college-readiness benchmarks in 11th grade are required to complete transition course(s). The mathematics transitional course counts toward a fourth year of math if the student has completed Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry.