The following article originally was published at Community College Daily.
Community college leaders should worker closer with K-12 and develop strategies to help increase college readiness and success, according to a new report.
The study — developed by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Association of Community College Trustees and Higher Ed for Higher Standards — recommends that community college presidents and trustees:
- Partner with K-12 to bring more substantial college readiness supports and interventions into high schools
- Identify college-readiness measures that can be used in high school to trigger these supports and acceleration strategies for students
- Revise institutional placement practices to honor college-ready achievements
- Provide first-year students who are not yet ready for college with co-requisite and other evidence-based remediation opportunities and guided pathways
- Work with system leaders and policymakers to adopt statewide policies that encourage these practices
“Students who are prepared for college succeed in college, and students who go to and graduate from college have strong chances of great success in life,” says AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus. “It’s time to start finding common ground among the disparate efforts and taking conscientious, consistent and official steps to learn from the best of them.”
The report profiles certain community college efforts that have advanced student success, from developmental education and dual enrollment to aligning academic expectations from high school to college. For example, Chattanooga State Community College in Tennessee allows high school seniors who complete its remedial math course to enter directly into credit-bearing courses when they enroll at the college.
The study notes that K-12 is raising standards to ensure that students are held to more rigorous academic expectations. Some states that are implementing such standards are already yielding results. Ohio, for example, reported last month that fewer graduating high school students needs remediation before taking college-level courses.
“K-12 cannot close the gap without higher education’s help,” the report says. “Community colleges have a clear role to play and a short window for presidents and trustees to step up and exercise leadership as schools scramble to implement the new standards and aligned assessments.”
More innovative models will be presented at AACC’s annual convention in April.
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