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The Changing Context for Postsecondary Education PDF - Complex and interrelated forces are driving change in America's postsecondary education system: demographic trends, shifts in the job market, technological developments, changes in state funding priorities, and ongoing reform and innovation in elementary and secondary education. Taken together, these trends and developments set the stage for a wide-ranging transformation of the way higher education institutions are organized, managed, regulated and funded. These graphics provide a few key snapshots of the changing context for the nation's postsecondary education system. (Education Commission of the States, May 2000)...

Fast Track to College: Increasing Postsecondary Success for All Students - The author of this paper identifies the principles that should guide any effort to mend the current gaps in the academic pipeline, and sets forth three “fast track to college” alternatives to the traditional high school – “An Academic Head Start on College,” “An Accelerated Career/Technical College” and “A Gap Year/College in the Community” – to ensure all students complete a recognized postsecondary credential by age 26. The paper notes the common features of these approaches, their capacity to reconnect dropouts, the potential challenges and benefits of these programs, and recommendations on a state framework for fast track to college initiatives. While observing that financing and ensuring quality will pose the greatest challenges in implementing these options, the author points out their favorable prospects for long-term return on investment. (Hilary Pennington, Jobs for the Future, December 2004)...

On Course for Success: A Close Look at Selected High School Courses That Prepare All Students for College - The authors examined the college-track courses in 10 high-achieving high schools nationwide – some of which serve high-minority, high-poverty student populations – to identify common components of these successful programs. Students in the college-oriented trajectory were found to have: (1) college-oriented course content; (2) qualified and experienced teachers; (3) teaching that is flexible and responsive to students; and (4) extra student support when needed. The report also presents model course syllabi for grades 10 and 11 English, geometry, Algebra II, precalculus, and the college-preparatory counterparts in these subjects as well as biology, chemistry and physics. Numerous recommendations are provided, including that all students be taught a rigorous, college-oriented curriculum.Check out the summary in our Research Studies Database.(ACT and The Education Trust, 2005)...

The Middle Grades: Putting All Students on Track for College - This paper argues that middle grades educators should be concerned about preparing students for postsecondary opportunities. The author provides (1) reasons why the middle grades are so critical to postsecondary preparation, (2) background on the opportunity gap that exists for underserved students, (3) examples of effective policies and what works and (4) recommendations for building school capacity to increase student performance for college access. Among the recommendations to increase capacity are focusing on P-16 alignment and program coherence, providing collaborative structures and supporting professional development. (Sharon J. Camblin, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, May 2003)...

Add and Subtract: Dual Enrollment as a State Strategy To Increase Postsecondary Success for Underrepresented Students - This report examines the rationale for dual enrollment programs, data on dual enrollment participation in Florida, Utah, City University of New York (CUNY), Washington State, Illinois and Virginia, and essential questions to ask when evaluating any such program, as well as recommended answers to those questions. Case studies of the dual enrollment programs in Florida, Utah and CUNY are provided. Page 16 presents a state funding model for dual enrollment. According to the report, concurrent courses are offered in every high school, middle school and state college in Utah. [Free registration required to access report.] (Nancy Hoffman, Jobs for the Future, April 2005)...

The Governance Divide: A Report on a Four-State Study on Improving College Readiness and Success - In the 21st century, when more students must complete some postsecondary education to have an economically secure life, the need for improved transitions from high school to college is urgent. This report proposes a set of state policy levers that can be used to create meaningful changes for students, identifies other factors states face as they seek to improve transitions between high school and college, provides state leaders with real-world policy choices, and offers recommendations to help states transform ad hoc approaches into sustained action and institutionalized, long-term K-16 reforms. (Andrea Venezia, Patrick M. Callan, Joni E. Finney, Michael W. Kirst and Michael D. Usdan, The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, September 2005)...

Ready for Tomorrow: Helping All Students Achieve Secondary and Postsecondary Success - Billed as a “guide for governors” and written with governors’ input, this report examines the causes and consequences of the “leaky education pipeline,” and proposes five specific means by which states can repair those leaks, as well as examples of how states are already putting these methods into practice. The five approaches are: (1) set a statewide peformance benchmark for postsecondary attainment, disaggregated by subgroups; (2) create a K-16 data system to track all youth over time; (3) better align K-12 and postsecondary expectations and incentives; (4) promote learning options that combine secondary and postsecondary experiences; and (5) focus on improving achievement for students in low-performing high schools to prepare these students for postsecondary success. (Richard Kazis, Hilary Pennington and Kristin D. Conklin, National Governors Association, 2003)...

Crisis at the Core: Preparing All Students for College and Work - According to this report, American high school students are no better prepared for college than they were 10 years ago. Of the 1.2 million students throughout the country who took the ACT tests this year, only 22% were ready for college-level work in English, mathematics and science. An additional 19% were prepared in two of the three areas and could succeed in the third area "by doing just a little bit more," the study found. In addition to the full report, an executive summary and action plans for policymakers and educators, and business and community leaders also are available. (ACT, Inc., 2004)...

Improving the Middle Grades: Actions That Can Be Taken Now - This policy brief outlines how to best prepare middle-school students for a rigorous high school curriculum. Setting high but reasonable standards, getting highly qualified teachers and principals in the classroom and defining exactly what students need to know in high school are among the recommendations. (Southern Regional Education Board, 2003) ...

Preparing for College: Building Expectations, Changing Realities - By examining nine key components of college preparation programs, this report from the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis seeks to improve the college-going rates of low-income youth in the United States. Issues addressed include academic preparation, extracurricular activities, counseling and the costs of postsecondary education. The report also features numerous resources for those interested in the issue of college preparation. (William G. Tierney, Julia E. Colar, and Zoe B. Corwin, Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, 2003) ...

Student Readiness for College: Connecting State Policies - This publication lays out a policy framework for college preparation, with particular attention to the needs of students and parents. It looks at multiple aspects of college readiness – curricula, quality teachers, assessment and accountability, educational support programs, parental involvement and information about college for young students. The report also examines the entire educational spectrum — from early schooling to entry into college — and focuses on the policies that are necessary to sustain students’ academic achievement all along the way. (Joan M. Lord, Southern Regional Education Board, 2002) ...

Student Success: Understanding Statewide P-16 Systems - A P-16 system improves preparation for college by creating an integrated education system spanning early childhood education through the baccalaureate degree. This publication draws on examinations of P-16 systems in California, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina and Rhode Island. It includes essays focusing on the following components of an integrated education system: early outreach, curriculum and assessment systems, high-quality teaching, student financial assistance and data and accountability systems. (State Higher Education Executive Officers, 2003) ...

Understanding University Success - The purpose of this report is to answer the question, “What must students know and be able to do in order to succeed in entry-level university courses?” This booklet describes foundational skills and content standards in English, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, second languages and the arts. (Standards for Success, 2003)...

Multiple Pathways and State Policy: Toward Education and Training Beyond High School - Almost all Americans need at least two years of postsecondary education to compete and be successful in today’s economy. This report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education addresses public policy challenges and identifies key education reforms in the areas of finance, accountability and governance to help states achieve the economic goals associated with education and training beyond high school. (Patrick Callan and Joni Finney, The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, 2003) ...


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