Opportunities to bridge the college & career readiness gap

In education today, many states are testing high school (HS)  students in their junior year to determine if they are college ready. This enables students who test college ready excellent opportunities to earn college credit while taking dual credit courses. Many of these students graduate from high school with college credit, Associate Degrees, and no student loan debt.

Since this is such a successful model, HS educators are now focusing on providing more opportunities for HS students not testing college ready by offering Transition or College and Career Readiness (CCR) courses. These opportunities are bridging the gap for college and career readiness.

Providing students college readiness resources while still in high school is a benefit to students. In the past, most colleges enrolled these students in Developmental Courses to enable them to become college ready. Students did not earn college credit for these courses but did pay tuition. Providing these resources in high school eliminates cost, saves time, and reinforces skills. In addition, college and career ready students encounter more opportunities for higher education and employment choices.

Implementing these courses varies from state to state. Many states now mandate high schools provide these transition classes before graduation. Student progress and the number of students graduating college and career ready are monitored by the state. Some school systems include these classes in the student’s schedule, offer courses as supplemental instruction or boot camps, or even an independent study for students.

Increasing the high school college and career readiness rate continues to be one of the strongest outcomes. In Kentucky, for example, after 5 years of implementing the high school transition classes, the college and career readiness graduation rate doubled. As a result, students, colleges, and employers benefited from graduating seniors being better prepared. (Source: Kentucky Department of Education)

Bridging the gap for college and career readiness by providing resources, educational, and employment opportunities during high school benefits students and communities. As an educator, I am proud to be part of so many initiatives that empower students to be successful in life.

About the author:

Donna Butler is Faculty Advisor for College and Career Readiness. As the former College and Career Readiness Coordinator for Owensboro Community and Technical College, Donna served on state wide work-groups which launched the Corequisite Model. This model enables students to gain necessary prerequisite skills needed while at the same time completing a credit bearing college course. She also worked extensively with the high school school dual credit program which enables students to become college ready before entering college. No stranger to Pearson, Donna has consulted with many other schools on their implementation of MyLabs in Foundations, Skills, and Writing for the past 9 years and is often seen presenting at national and regional conferences. In her spare time, Donna enjoys spending time with her family outdoors doing things like hiking, boating, gardening, and kayaking!

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