How the States Got Their Rates

High school diploma options vary across states with regard to: (1) the number offered, (2) their alignment to college- and career-ready expectations in English language arts/literacy and mathematics course requirements, (3) the types of assessment requirements associated with degree conferral, and (4) whether or how they report student outcomes. Achieve’s analysis provides detailed descriptions of these four characteristics for the 93 diploma options available across all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the class of 2014.

New CCRS Center State Map Features—Identify How States Are Measuring and Supporting College and Career Readiness

States are implementing a variety of initiatives and policies to assess and support students’ college and career readiness. To help state leaders and policymakers identify trends and learn about innovative approaches to this work, the College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center has updated the CCRS Center interactive state map with new and streamlined content. The map provides an easy-to-navigate snapshot of state college and career readiness policies, metrics, and initiatives across all states.

A Federal Work Study Reform Agenda to Better Serve Low-Income Students.

This report advocates for the updating of the Federal Work Study (FWS) program. According to the report, those without the funds to support themselves in unpaid work after college graduation are at a serious disadvantage in an economy that increasingly demands both a degree and work experience. The report provides recommendations for updating the FWS program including promoting FWS as a career-ready program through expansion of Job Location Development Programs and creating a Career Internship Program within FWS.

Maximizing Resources for Student Success: Competency-Based Education as a Potential Strategy to Increase Learning and Lower Costs

This report explores how competency-based education at institutions of higher learning has taken on greater prominence in recent years as several colleges and universities have adopted degree programs. Rather than relying on course credit accumulation, competency-based programs require the demonstration of knowledge for degree progression. In these programs, degree completion is dependent on the demonstration of content mastery rather than fulfilling a predetermined amount of time in a sequence of courses.

Maximizing Resources for Student Success by Reducing Time- and Credits-to-Graduate

This report from HCM Strategists provides strategies for regional public universities serving high concentrations of low-income and otherwise at-risk students to reduce the amount of time and credits necessary to graduate. This report highlights while that more students are seeking a four-year college degree, less than 40% of first-time college students graduate within four years. Taking additional time to graduate not only can add years to a "four-year" degree, but it also comes with additional costs in tuition, room, board, and other expenses.

National Standards for Strong Apprenticeships

While apprenticeships are offered throughout the nation, programs use different measures to indicate successful completion and mastery of the relevant skills learned. This Center for American Progress (CAP) policy brief outlines the benefits of apprenticeships, describes why current apprenticeships are not meeting student and employer needs, and advocates that to address this problem, apprenticeships must provide a portable, nationally recognized credential.

Call for a National Conversation on Creating a Competency-based Credentialing Ecosystem

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) recently joined policy leaders[1] in other organizations calling upon to call upon key stakeholders in our nation’s postsecondary education and workforce credentialing system to increase transparency, trust and portability in the credentialing marketplace. 


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