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ERIC Number: ED569340
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 38
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Roadmap to College Readiness
Mann, Sharmila Basu; Martin, Rebecca
State Higher Education Executive Officers
To successfully participate in today's global economy, young people must graduate high school with the skills and competencies that allow them to pursue further study and meaningful work. Yet the data around successful transition from high school to higher education, and then to the completion of a degree, show some alarming trends. In 2007, 70.5% of students graduated from high school on time, and 62.5% went on to enroll immediately in postsecondary education. However, only 59.4% of students from that cohort who enrolled full time in a four-year institution graduated in six years; only 29.8% who enrolled full time in a two-year institution graduated in three years. These numbers are even more stark for underserved populations--low-income, minority, and first-generation students. The data clearly indicate that while progress has been made in increasing high school graduation rates and postsecondary enrollment, we are not doing as well at ensuring students are enrolling in college with the "right stuff"--the knowledge and skills necessary for postsecondary success that are the hallmarks of true college readiness. State leaders--governors, legislators, and leadership from both K-12 and postsecondary education sectors--have recognized this issue and, particularly in the last decade, have taken steps in policy and practice to address the problem. In the late 2000s, state superintendents and governors worked together through their respective national associations--the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA)--to develop the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a set of K-12 standards that would lead students to college readiness by high school graduation. The 2014 edition of the "Achieve" publication, "Closing the Expectations Gap," indicates that all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) have now adopted college and career ready standards (42 states and DC have adopted the CCSS). Most states have also taken other steps to increase college readiness, including implementing more rigorous courses in high school, college ready assessments in 11th grade, opportunities for acceleration within high school, and dual enrollment opportunities in local colleges. While progress has been variable, some states have been able to demonstrate early successes and build on early initiatives, even as they contend with various local and national challenges. To develop the "Roadmap," lead staff from State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) agencies and public university system offices in ten states--California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia--were interviewed. These ten states were chosen because of the early engagement and continuing commitment demonstrated by their leadership in forging a stronger path to college readiness for their students. Using information shared during the interviews, as well as supporting materials from state and national sources, the policies and practices these ten states have put in place in pursuit of closing the gap between high school and college are highlighted. This report presents findings in six sections, each addressing key aspects of a coherent, multidimensional, statewide college readiness agenda: Determining College Readiness; Assessing College Readiness; Communicating College Readiness to Students; Developing Pre-College Pathways; Determining College Admissions and Placement; and Tracking Changes in College Readiness. The report concludes with a discussion of the reflections of lead system and agency staff on the challenges they faced in implementing these policies and practices, as well as their advice to others seeking to embark on this complex journey. The report includes Endnotes and the following are appended: (1) Participant Agencies by State; (2) Interview Protocol; (3) Resource Websites by State; and (4) Readiness Checklist.
State Higher Education Executive Officers. 3035 Center Green Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: 303-541-1600; Fax: 303-541-1639; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA)
Authoring Institution: State Higher Education Executive Officers; National Association of System Heads (NASH)
Identifiers - Location: California; Colorado; Kentucky; Maryland; New York; Ohio; Tennessee; Texas; Washington; West Virginia