January 2017


Webinar: On January 24 th , we hosted a webinar with over 150 members of NASH, SHEEO and CCSSO, featuring state K-12 chiefs and higher education executives from South Dakota and Tennessee who are making significant advances in working together across sectors to ensure all students are ready for college and careers. 

In case you weren't able to join us, you can access the recording & slides here under "Webinar Resources."

In the media: Matt Gandal, organizer of Higher Ed for Higher Standards and President of Education Strategy Group , shared recommendations for the new administration and was featured in Education Week. His recommendations focus on how we can drive economic opportunity through education policy that supports postsecondary preparation and success for all and connects K-12, postsecondary and the workforce.

In case you missed it: Education Dive covered last month's policy brief   that focuses on how precollege interventions like TN SAILS can increase college readiness and reduce remediation at scale.

We want to help support those who are interested in piloting or scaling precollege interventions like TN SAILS; if you're interested in being part of a cohort of institutions and states advancing this work, please let us know


A recent report highlights California's work to improve assessment and placement policies, and redesign developmental course sequences to be more conducive to student success. While two-thirds of community colleges in the system offer both redesigned and traditional developmental math course sequences, enrollment in redesigned courses makes up only 8.3 percent of the total developmental math enrollment in 2014-15 - pointing to the continued need to scale what works and increase access to redesigned pathways.

"Developmental education that is not effective comes at a high cost to students --  not only in tuition and fees for courses that do not count toward a degree, but also in time and lost income"

Marisol Cuellar Mejia,

Dual enrollment is also  growing statewide , spurred by the  College and Career Pathways Act,  a new law that went into effect in 2016 to promote partnerships between community colleges and K-12 school districts. As more students are exposed to college courses in high school, increased access to dual enrollment courses can reduce the number of incoming college students in remedial math and English courses.

Northampton Community College (NCC) is partnering with Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) in  Pennsylvania to design a math course aimed at ensuring district graduates don't need college remedial math courses. Currently, about 80 percent of NCC students that take the placement tests end up in remedial, non-credit bearing math courses. Since 30 percent of Bethlehem Area School District's graduates enroll there, this course - co-taught by NCC and BASD faculty - has the potential to dramatically improve readiness and success rates in math. Read more from  Lehigh Valley Live , and for more on placement policies and transition courses, check out our  Alignment Policy Brief series .


A New Era for Community Colleges
Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor of California Community Colleges and Regent of the University of California, wrote  a blog post for the Huffington Post on the importance of community colleges in ensuring opportunity for all Americans. "An educated workforce is no longer a luxury but an economic imperative," says Oakley, also a former member of Higher Ed for Higher Standards  Advisory Council, citing the additional $570,000 college grads earn over the course of their careers compared to high school graduates.  For more ideas on how the 1,600 community colleges, that "occupy the best position to impact all Americans," can do more to support students in the coming year, check out our resources on higher ed and K-12 collaborations through  ESSA, or read more on our  partnership with the  American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and  Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). 
Early Success in Scaling CUNY's ASAP Program
City University of New York (CUNY) launched an innovative program of wrap-around support services and incentives, called Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), in 2007. ASAP  doubled the three-year graduation rate of students seeking an associates' degree from 22 to 40 percent, while also increasing the share of students who transferred to four-year colleges from 17 to 25 percent. Despite increased annual costs per enrolled student by about $5,400, ASAP reduced the total cost of producing each additional graduate overall through the costs saved by more on-time graduations and successful transfers.  Brookings explores the early evidence from Ohio suggesting that the ASAP approach can be replicated in a different setting, with a different population, even in a "system with decentralized governance and with a population of non-traditional students" For more on  ASAP or other redesigned first year experiences, check out our report on community college and K-12 collaboration,  Seizing the Moment.
Increasing Participation in Kentucky's College Prep Transition Courses
All Kentucky public high schools offer at least one intervention for students who do not meet the state's college readiness benchmarks by the start of 12 th grade, a requirement since 2010-11. Transition courses are just one of several intervention options, including short-term targeted course modules, embedded interventions within existing classes, among others, to prepare students to succeed in credit-bearing courses in college, increasing their likelihood to complete college.  For more on how participation in math transition courses in math rose from 2011-12 to 2014-15 across all Kentucky schools, check out this update from REL Appalachia.  For more information on how states can build transition courses and other student supports into their ESSA plans, see our Leveraging ESSA series.

About Higher Ed for Higher Standards

Higher Ed for Higher Standards is a growing coalition of higher education leaders who believe aligned expectations and strong partnerships between K-12 and postsecondary leaders are critical to improving student success.  Join us!
Higher Ed for Higher Standards is an initiative of Education Strategy Group. For more information about our other work, please visit our  website .

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