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.

H.S. Classes Offer Bypass to Remedial Courses

October 26, 2016 —Edweek recently featured Washington, Hawaii and Tennessee’s work to offer remedial coursework in high school. Important keys to success across state examples include K-12 and higher education faculty collaboration throughout the process, and a focus on rigor centered on setting a true bar for college readiness. This seeming simple approach to college remediation – taking care of readiness problems while students are still in high school is gaining ground, and early findings show success in catapulting students into credit bearing coursework. See more on reducing remediation through transition courses and assessments aligned to college ready benchmarks from our alignment policy brief.


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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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Illinois Community College Board Announces Lowered Remediation Rates

July 28, 2016 — Diverse Education reports that “between 2011 and 2015, the state has seen a 24-percent reduction in the number of community college students enrolling in developmental education,” according to officials from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). The third largest system in the nation credits its successes — despite severe budget issues — to both system-wide and college-specific initiatives around co-requisite remediation and greater collaboration with local high schools. Read more from Diverse Education here, and for more on community colleges collaborating with K-12 to reduce remediation, see our report, Seizing the Moment.


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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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Maryland High Standards Supported by Remediation in Senior Year

July 12, 2016 — Maryland high school students will now have the opportunity to complete remedial work in math and English in their senior year. Following the gradual implementation of high standards, the General Assembly passed a law in 2013 to require school systems to test students by the end of 11th grade. Schools will now leverage this early indicator of college readiness to ensure students leave high school fully prepared for college and careers. “I think you will see a huge decline in the number of students needing developmental or remedial courses,” said Henry Johnson, chief academic officer at the Maryland Department of Education. 70 percent of Maryland students entering community college and 21 percent of those at four-year public institutions needed remedial education, as of 2013. Different schools are using different assessments including PARCC, SAT, ACT, Accuplacer, and even AP/IB exams to measure college readiness, and many are collaborating with their local community colleges to remediate students. For example, Baltimore County schools have set up  transition classes with curriculum written by Community College of Baltimore County professors in collaboration with some county high school teachers. Read more from the Baltimore Sun.


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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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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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