Topic: 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 at two- or four-year colleges.
Increasing the percentage students who begin college without the need for remedial courses can reduce the cost of college and improve college graduation rates.
SREB’s recommendations and programs to help states improve readiness for all students center on five essential elements:
1. Statewide Readiness Standards in Literacy and Math
2. Junior-Year Progress Assessments
3. Senior-Year Transitional Courses
4. Postsecondary Alignment and Use of the Readiness Standards and Assessments
5. State-Level Accountability for Increasing Readiness
SREB’s Agenda for College and Career Readiness
1. Statewide Readiness Standards in Literacy and Math. There should be statewide standards that relate to success in college degree programs and another set of standards applicable to career programs. Both sets should be developed based on empirical evidence of what it takes to succeed in entry-level courses at various types of postsecondary institution.
2. Junior-Year Progress Assessments. All students’ progress toward achieving the readiness standards should be assessed no later than the junior year of high school.
3. Senior-Year Transitional Courses. Literacy and math transition courses should be offered, ans should be required for students who are assessed as not ready for college by their senior year.
4. Postsecondary Alignment and Use of Statewide Readiness Standards and Assessments. In addition to working with K-12 to empirically establish readiness standards in literacy and math, postsecondary education should honor results of the junior-year progress assessments in placing entering students. Institutions should recognize successful completion of senior-year transition courses and place students directly in credit-bearing courses when they enter college.
5. State-Level Accountability for Increasing Readiness. Postsecondary education and K-12 should be accountable for increasing the readiness of high school graduates over time and for increasing the rate at which students who enter college college underprepared earn postsecondary credentials. Statewide accountability should apply at two-year and four-year institutions.