California State University System Eliminates Remedial Education

August 2, 2017 — California State University (CSU) will be eliminating remedial education and placement testing starting in fall 2018, in an effort to “facilitate equitable opportunity for first-year students to succeed.” Students who would otherwise be enrolled in remedial courses will now enroll in the credit-bearing introductory course, and have options to receive additional tutoring or take the course at a slower pace, stretching it over multiple semesters. CSU will also redesign the “Early Start” summer program for incoming freshmen who need extra preparation to count for credit and use high school grades and standardized test scores, instead of an additional placement test. Helping students graduate on-time is a system priority since Cal State has made a goal to double four-year graduation rates to 40 percent by 2025.  California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley also endorsed this change as “the right approach” in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. Earlier this summer, Texas also passed a law making co-requisite remediation the required model for students in developmental education courses.


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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.

A New Era for Community Colleges

December 20, 2016 — Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor of California Community Colleges and Regent of the University of California, wrote a new blog post for 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 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. 


Sign up to receive the Higher Ed for Higher Standards monthly e-newsletter or view our previous newsletters here.

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.

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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How To Fix A Graduation Rate Of 1 In 10? Ask The Dropouts

June 3, 2016 — NPREd’s Weekend edition takes an inside look into San Jose State University through the eyes of students and faculty. With a graduation rate of just 10 percent in four years, San Jose State is taking action by working with nearby K-12 schools and increasing access to a summer remediation program.

At San Jose State University, at least 36 percent of first-time freshmen are in need of remediation in math, English, or both, through the summer remediation program is limited to 60 students a year. The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Summer Bridge, which provides a five-week intensive, on-campus curriculum of remedial and study skills, has had an 89 percent retention rate (or higher) across its last three cohorts and a 100 percent remediation completion among its participants, since its reintroduction in 2012. EOP participants progress as a cohort through their freshman year with enrollment in a first-year experience class and a year-long English 1A stretch course. At San Jose State, at least 36 percent of first-time freshmen are in need of remediation in math, English, or both, through the EOP is limited to 60 students a year. Read more about college readiness & student success at San Jose State here.


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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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How 5 States are Boosting College Readiness in 12th Grade

December 5, 2015 — In the wake of college- and career-ready standards, many states have been working to ensure that grade twelve prepares all students for post-secondary success. Read more here about the opportunities for students who are not yet college-ready and who can use senior year to close academic gaps and avoid the remedial instruction that so often acts as “a drain on the time, finances, and morale of ascending college students”.


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Recognizing the ‘Golden’ Opportunity of Testing in California

October 6, 2015  — As test results are released across the country, the 101 campuses, including all 23 of California State University and 78 of 113 of California’s community colleges, will use the results of the college-ready assessments to determine their placement into credit-bearing courses. The problem of one-third of all undergraduate students spending additional time and money to retake classes they should have mastered in high school has been estimated to cost the U.S. $3 billion annually. Read more here about how aligned assessments can help solve this problem.  

For more details around CSU’s Early Assessment Program, read more here.


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California Higher Ed Partners with K-12 to Train Teachers on Standards

September 8, 2015 — The California Teachers Association has partnered with Stanford University and other groups to create the innovative Instructional Leadership Corps of nearly 300 veteran educators whose goal is to train about 50,000 colleagues over three years. In transitioning to new standards and computer-based assessments, read more about why training is key.


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California State Board of Education Commends Higher Ed’s Support of High Standards

September 3, 2015 — The California State Board of Education applauds the “unprecedented” unified endorsement of higher standards from all four systems of higher education, including University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges, and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities.

To learn more about how higher ed’s leadership reinforces other significant efforts by these leaders to align K-12 and higher education, read the full letter here.


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Modesto Covers NASH, SHEEO & HEfHS Joint Statement

July 20, 2015  With the results of new K-12 student assessments on the horizon, states have an opportunity to be proactive in communication with students and families about the new, more meaningful scores. Covering the recent release of the joint statement by NASH, SHEEO, and HEfHS, the Modesto Bee reports on the higher education community’s reiteration of the importance of higher standards and honest assessments. Read more here.


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