PA Community College Partners with K-12 District to Create Math Transition Course

November 21, 2016 — Northampton Community College (NCC) is partnering with Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) 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-creditbearing math courses. Since 30 percent of Bethlehem Area School Districts graduates enroll there, this course – co-taught by NCC and BASD faculty – this collaboration is the start of a strong educational pipeline fron K-12 to postsecondary. Read more from Lehigh Valley Live, and for more on placement policies and transition courses, check out our report on community college and K-12 collaboration, Seizing the Moment, as well as our Alignment Policy Brief series.


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Additional Resources from Higher Ed for Higher Standards

The Leveraging ESSA series to provides several resources to support higher ed and K-12 collaboration in state ESSA plans.

Aligning Expectations
The Aligning Expectations toolkit helps higher education leaders get involved in states’ reviews of  standards and/or assessments.

Alignment Policy Brief
The Alignment Policy Brief Series is designed to elevate best practices and inform higher ed leaders of emerging collaborations with K-12.

Seizing the Moment
The Seizing the Moment report on community college alignment shows how collaboration with K–12 can better support students.

Minnesota Reduces Remediation; Saves Students $15.6 Million

October 18, 2016 — Minnesota colleges and universities schools are getting their students into credit-bearing college courses sooner, saving millions of dollars in tuition and fees, and boosting their chances of earning a degree. Last year, 12 percent of the system’s new students were enrolled in remedial courses, but four years earlier, that figure was 18 percent, a decrease that saves students $15.6 million on tuition and fees this year alone. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, Ron Anderson, credits the decrease in remedial course placement to working closely with districts to align curriculum and assessments, using multiple measures to accurately place students, and providing for accelerated options to speed student completion. Read more from Twin Cities Pioneer Press, and for more on collaborating with K-12 to improve student success, see our report Seizing the Moment.


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What Does it Take to Get Students Ready for College?

August 18, 2016 — Collaboration with local high schools is key, according to Community College Research Center’s Elisabeth Barnett and Elizabeth Ganga’s opinion piece in The Hechinger Report. Transition courses designed to fill in gaps in students’ high school education and to get them ready for college were in place in 29 states as of late 2012, but new research from CCRC outlines ways to maximize their effectiveness, including an overview outlining the state of knowledge about the courses  as well as a report on implementation in California, Tennessee, New York, and West Virginia earlier this year. Without an agreement with  higher ed that the transition courses satisfy remediation requirements, students may still have to take a placement test when they get to college; meanwhile, a lack of feedback on how transition course students fare in college leaves K-12 unsure of whether the courses are effective or need improvement — underscoring the need for collaboration with K-12 and higher ed.


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Oregon’s Public University and Community College Placement Policy Starts this Fall

July 26, 2016 — 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 intuition’s student success agenda from the first issue of our alignment policy brief series.


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Cal State Students Get On Track at Rio Hondo College First

July 20, 2016 —  A two-year, $2-million grant to the Rio Hondo community college district — one of five totaling $10 million awarded by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office — provides resources for Rio Hondo to work with area high schools, adult schools and CSU Los Angeles (CSU LA) to improve the chances of success for students with challenges in English and math through a trio of interventions, including a summer bridge program, winter math booster, and a supplemental peer tutoring system. In addition to offering classes and support services, Rio Hondo also will work with area high schools and adult schools to ensure that curriculum aligns effectively with from K-12, to community college and the university system through CSU LA. Read more from CCDaily, and for more on community colleges collaborating with K-12, see our report, Seizing the Moment.


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When College Students Start Behind

June 2, 2016 — A new report from The Century Foundation describes findings from multiple studies on four types of reforms under way at various colleges, and concludes with the view that “a wholesale redesign of the student experience at community colleges is needed to make a real difference in the outcomes of underprepared students”. Higher Ed for Higher Standards offers more information on what higher ed can do address to student readiness in terms of pre-college interventions, placement policies, and redesigned first year experiences, in our report, Seizing the Moment: Community Colleges Collaborating to Improve Student Success.


 

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Tennessees Shows Four Year Drop in Need for Remediation

May 31, 2016 — Newly released data from Tennessee shows a four-year drop in the percentage of first-time freshmen who arrived at college in need of remedial classes, from 76.8% in 2011 to 63.3% in 2015. Remedial math rates were lower too: 77.1% in 2011 down to 55.3% in 2015. An article from the Tennessean,  featuring more information from Governor Haslam’s staff, connects the drop in the need for remediation to the success of the SAILS program, a statewide program that offers self-paced remedial coursework in high school, through a collaboration with the local com unity colleges. Offering precollege interventions like SAILS, is an important way higher education can improve student readiness; learn more about the SAILS program in our report, Seizing the Moment: Community Colleges Collaborating to Improve Student Success.


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North Dakota Works to Leverage Senior Year

May 28, 2016 — In a recent Q&ANorth Dakota State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler cited the fact that 27 percent of students in North Dakota need some sort of remediation class, either in math or English or both as a major concern when it comes to all students being college and career ready at the end of high school. The Legislature has recently provided $250,000 to the Department of Public Instruction and $250,000 to the Center for Distance Education to provide, in high school, the same remediation classes that are offered on college campuses. Baesler expects “it will be able to significantly reduce the number of remediation needs”. Earlier this month, North Dakota announced it will review its education standards. For more information, check out Higher Ed for Higher Standards’ resources on aligning expectations with K-12.


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Improving College Graduation Rates: A Closer Look at California State University

May 20, 2016 — A new policy paper from the Public Policy Institute of California investigates the impact of several strategies to increase the system’s graduation rate, including improving student preparation through the CSU Early Start program, which requires students who need remediation to enroll in a free summer course on-campus before their freshmen year to prepare for college-level work. Preliminary results suggest that Early Start students often outperform similar students who did not require remediation in their first-year coursework, and that the Early Start may have contributed to the campus’s success in supporting underrepresented students to graduation, as the graduation gap has now shrunk to only 1.5 percentage points. Offering precollege interventions, including bridge courses like CSU’s Early Start, is an important way higher education can improve student readiness; learn more from our report, Seizing the Moment: Community Colleges Collaborating to Improve Student Success.


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Improving High School Prep Through Collaboration

May 12, 2016 — An op-ed in U.S. News and World report cites new analysis of the high costs of underprepared high school graduates and calls for increased collaboration between higher ed, K-12, students and families. The problem is widespread, with 1 in 4 students who enter higher education immediately after high school graduation paying college-level prices for high school-level classes. Marian Nguyen Barry, Senior Policy Analyst at Education Reform Now, calls for  high schools to be “more academically demanding[…]aligned with the requirements to enroll in introductory-level college classes,” and for colleges to work to support students who come in behind.


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