August 2016


NASH and SHEEO presented the Roadmap to College Readiness  at the SHEEO Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD on July 12th along with panel members Dr. Jack Warner, former SHEEO of South Dakota, Corley Dennison III of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Aaron Thompson of Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, and moderator Rebecca Martin, NASH's Executive Director. The panel outlined key opportunities for K-12 and higher education alignment that ultimately lead to more students arriving on campus ready for credit bearing coursework, shortened time to degree and increased postsecondary attainment.

Coalition Growth: In the last two months, Higher Ed for Higher Standards has grown from 400 to over 425 coalition members across 46 states. Help us get to 500 --  interested leaders can join here

Update on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
In the coming weeks, Higher Ed for Higher Standards will disseminate resources that provide a roadmap to key partnership opportunities for K-12 and higher education, as states are developing plans under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). State ESSA plans represent a powerful moment for K-12 and higher education to improve student transitions between high school and postsecondary institutions.

This fall, a series of followup resources will take a deeper dive into each key opportunity, including validating standards and assessments, redesigning supports for student transition, and aligning K-12 and postsecondary indicators to meet state attainment goals. If you have any questions about this emerging work, please don't hesitate to  contact us .


Maryland high school students across the state will now have the opportunity to complete remedial work in math and English in their senior year. The General Assembly passed a law to require all school systems to test students by the end of 11th grade, allowing students the ability to leverage their senior year to become college-ready, saving them time and money compared to taking these courses in college.  Schools across the state are using different assessments including PARCC, SAT, and ACT, and many districts are collaborating with their local community colleges to remediate students. Read more about Maryland's work from  the Baltimore Sun , and for more about pre-college interventions, check out our report,  Seizing the Moment: Community Colleges Collaborating to Improve Student Success.

Oregon students will be able to use high school test scores to prove they are ready for college-level courses  for the first time this fall. Last year, leaders of the state's public universities and community colleges agreed to waive placement tests for students who scored 3 or 4 on the Smarter Balanced test in English language arts and math in order to help bridge the gap between high school and higher education. Read more from the Bend Bulletin, or learn about how leveraging rigorous high school assessments can support your institution's student success agenda from the first issue of our alignment policy brief series.

North Dakota State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler cited the 27 percent of incoming college students who require remediation as a major concern when it comes preparing all students to be college and career ready at the end of high school. In order to leverage the senior year, North Dakota will now provide, in high school, the same remedial classes  offered on college campuses, through new funding from the Legislature, which Baesler expects to "significantly reduce" the number of students who need remediation. Earlier this summer, North Dakota also announced it will review its education standards; for more information on how higher ed can get involved in state standards review processes, check out our Aligning Expectations toolkit.


Infographic:  Academic under-preparation hurts students' chances for success & increases the cost of college by an estimated 1.5 billion dollars a year. Read the full  report  from Education Post, or click the image on the right to view the larger infographic.

Preliminary  results suggest that California State University's (CSU) Early Start program may have contributed to the system's success in increasing the graduation rate, helping to shrink the gap between underrepresented minority students and their peers to only 1.5 percentage points. CSU's Early Start program requires students who need remediation to enroll in a free summer course on campus before their freshmen year to prepare for college-level work. Research shows that this pays off: Early Start students often outperform similar students who did not require remediation in their first-year coursework.


About Higher Ed for Higher Standards


Higher Ed for Higher Standards is a growing coalition of higher education leaders who believe college- and career-ready standards are critical to improving student success. Join us!


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