NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED500454
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 33
Abstractor: ERIC
Courses Count: Preparing Students for Postsecondary Success. ACT Policy Report
ACT, Inc.
Rigorous college preparatory course sequences are critical to preparing students for postsecondary education and work. Yet, large numbers of students still do not participate in the most beneficial courses, and there is little evidence that the high school curriculum is rigorous enough to ensure that most students are adequately prepared for postsecondary success: approximately 28 percent of freshmen entering postsecondary institutions enroll in one or more remedial courses in reading, writing, or mathematics. Projections indicate that the number of postsecondary school graduates will not be sufficient to fill the more than 14 million new jobs that will be added to the labor market by 2008. And, leaving high school without being prepared for postsecondary training or entry into the workforce will cost our nation over $16 billion each year in remediation, lost productivity, and increased demands on criminal justice and welfare systems. This policy report examines three likely overlapping answers to the question of why students leaving high school are not ready to success in postsecondary programs without remedial help: (1) The broad array of courses offered in our high schools and the varying course sequences that students can complete make very different contributions to postsecondary readiness; (2) Students do not always take those courses and course sequences that contribute most to postsecondary readiness; and (3) The lack of rigor of the high school curriculum does not result in all students being adequately prepared for college success. Ensuring that high school students take a college preparatory curriculum and increasing the rigor of the high school curriculum will significantly improve postsecondary readiness and success. Broad-based recommendations for educational leaders and policymakers include: (1) Increase postsecondary readiness by requiring that all students take specific college preparatory course sequences in English, mathematics, science, and foreign language; and (2) Improve the rigor of high school coursework with a greater focus on in-depth content coverage and considerably greater secondary-to-postsecondary curriculum alignment. It is in the best interest of our students and our nation to ensure that everyone graduates from high school ready to enter and succeed in postsecondary educational programs and the workforce. A bibliography is included. (Contains 7 footnotes, 4 figures and 4 tables.)
ACT, Inc. 500 ACT Drive, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243-0168. Tel: 319-337-1270; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: ACT, Inc., Iowa City, IA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A