College and Career Ready Definitions

“Tennessee defines college and career readiness as ‘... the knowledge and skills needed for entry level work and college freshmen coursework [and] success whether pursuing a career or a college education.’”


Conforti, P. A. (2013, May). What is college and career readiness? A summary of state definitions. New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc. Retrieved from http://researchnetwork.pearson.com/wp-content/uploads/TMRS-RIN_Bulletin_22CRCDefinitions_051313.pdf

Accountability Metrics
  • Student achievement status on state tests
  • Student growth on state tests
  • Four-year graduation rate
Source: Center for American Progress. (2016). Explore the Data for ‘Making the Grade’. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/news/2016/05/19/137455...
College and Career Ready Reporting Metrics
School Report Card1
National Assessments2
College Freshman Reports3
Early Warning System4
EOC exam scores1
ACT scores1
NAEP scores1
Dual-credit enrollment1
CTE course enrollment by program area1
Career and technical student organization (CTSO) membership, by CTSO1
CTE concentrator: technical skills attainment1
CTE concentrator: postsecondary placement1
Average CTE courses per student1
Dropout rate1
Attendance rate1
Suspension rate1
Expulsion rate1
Youth Risk Behavior Survey2
Students graduating within four years1
ACT college readiness benchmarks1
Students meeting ACT HOPE Scholarship eligibility1
1. Tennessee Department of Education. (n.d.). Report card. Retrieved from 
2. Tennessee Department of Health. (n.d.). Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Retrieved from http://tn.gov/health/topic/statistics-brfss
Dual Enrollment and Early College High School

Dual Enrollment and Articulation

Tennessee state policy allows students to earn dual credit for academic or CTE postsecondary courses taken at their high school, a postsecondary institution, or virtually. Public postsecondary institutions in the state are required to accept dual-enrollment credits (ECS, 2015).

Early College High School

The Middle College National Consortium has partnered with institutions of higher education to provide two Early College High School programs as part of the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI; Jobs for the Future, n.d.).


Education Commission of the States. (2015). Dual enrollment – all state profiles. Retrieved from http://ecs.force.com/mbdata/mbprofallRT?Rep=DE14A

Jobs for the Future. (n.d.). Schools. Retrieved from http://www.jff.org/initiatives/early-college-designs/schools

Career Pathways

Tennessee has adopted the National Career Clusters Framework and maintains programs of study that link secondary and postsecondary CTE programs across each of the 16 Career Clusters.


National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. (n.d.). Tennessee [Interactive map of state CTE profiles]. Retrieved from http://careertech.org/Tennessee

Career Exploration and Career Plans

Tennessee does not have a statewide system for career exploration or career plans at the K–12 level.

Alignment Between High School Graduation and State College Admission Requirements

High School and College Alignment


High School Graduation Requirements

College Admission Requirements

English Credits:



Mathematics Credits:

4.0 (Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, and one higher level course)

4.0 (algebra [2.0], geometry [1.0], and selected from among trigonometry, calculus, or other advanced mathematics [1.0])

Social Studies Credits:


2.0 (American history [1.0], and selected from among European history, world history, or world geography [1.0])

Science Credits:

3.0 (laboratory course and two courses selected from among biology, chemistry, or physics)

3.0 (including one unit of biology, one unit of chemistry or physics, and one unit of additional science)  

Foreign Language Credits:


2.0 (in same language)

Arts Credits:



Additional Credits:

5.0 (physical education [1.5], personal finance [0.5], and electives [3.0])

None specified

Total Credits:




End of Course Examinations

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or ACT®


Tennessee Department of Education

University of Tennessee at Knoxville




Early Warning Systems

The Tennessee Department of Education website offers educators High School Early Warning Intervention Template Resources. These resources include Early Warning System Identifying Information Standards, an Early Warning System Customizable Example, an Early Warning Instruction Template Manual, and a Tutorial Video. The level at which Early Warning System data are reported is not publicly available. Educators can access the Early Warning System data. 


Tennessee Department of Education. (2015). Resources: Support tools. Retrieved from https://www.tn.gov/education/article/tdoe3-rti-edcuators-resources