College: 4-year

Does Career and Technical Education Affect College Enrollment?

Through examination of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 and its transcript component, vocational education is analyzed for a group of youth. Career and technical education (CTE) courses taken and participation in career-related programs of courses and activities are described. The findings revealed that the majority of American high school students participate in CTE courses and work-related activities, which hold true across demographic subgroups as well.

High Schools that Work follow-up study of 2004 high school graduates: Transitioning to college and careers from a High Schools that Work high school (Research Brief)

This study assesses how the High Schools that Work initiative prepares students for college and careers. The report also presents strategies that district and school leaders can use to help students become more prepared for transitioning from high school to college and careers.

Aligning High School Graduation Requirements with the Real World: A Road Map for States

This policy brief describes programs and initiatives from different states and districts that have been implemented to retain students, lower dropout rates, and help provide students with life skills to make them successful through and after high school. The authors start with a discussion of how to determine the parameters of graduation policy, i.e., identifying which courses students should be required to take and anchoring courses in standards that are aligned with college and career expectations.

Improving Academic Preparation for College

This paper reviews research and makes the case for a definition of academic preparation that includes academic rigor, grades, and specific academic skills that students will need to be successful in a college level course. The authors assert that though it may be difficult to measure, it is important to consider all of these aspects in defining readiness and in helping students meet a threshold of it.

Coalition for a College and Career Ready America: Guiding Principles

This policy brief outlines the policy agenda of the Coalition for a College and Career Ready America. The authors note that the coalition supports: high standards with supports for students, providing states and districts with access to quality data and technical assistance, recognizing the role of charter schools and high-quality models, turning around all low-performing schools, and aligning state and federal initiatives with these principals.

Using ACT Assessment Scores to Set Benchmarks for College Readiness

To better predict high school graduate preparedness for college course taking, the authors use Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to analyze ACT English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science test scores to discern the utility of these scores as predictors of success or failure in first year college students taking typical freshman year courses. They found that although the test scores are useful predictors of success in first-year college courses, ACT scores above the cutoffs do not guarantee success.

Beating the Odds: How Thirteen NYC Schools Bring Low-Performing Ninth-Graders to Timely Graduation and College Enrollment

This report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University discusses the findings of a qualitative study of 13 New York City schools that have experienced success in improving student outcomes. Through interviews with school administrators, faculty, and staff, the authors discerned four effective practices or key strategies that were shared among the 13 successful schools. These include: academic rigor, networks of timely supports, college expectations and access, and effective use of data.

A Federal Agenda for Promoting Student Success and Degree Completion

This report seeks to define and recommend changes to the federal role in ensuring that students not only enter college but graduate. The authors describe the current state of college matriculates, discern their goal of "increasing degree production and decreasing inequality", and discuss five strategies that need to be implemented to reach their goal. The authors conclude that the federal role, in terms of both funding and oversight, should further expand their reach to increase the number of degree holders.

Redefining College Readiness

This paper from EPIC asserts that a new operational definition of college readiness is needed, proposing a shift from a focus on high school coursework, grades and scores on national exams, to a new and more comprehensive conceptualization of college readiness. The author suggests, based on the last two decades of research, that there are several other key components of college success.

College-Ready Students, Student-Ready Colleges: An Agenda for Improving Degree Completion in Postsecondary Education

This resource from the Center for American Progress discusses the results of a forum held in March 2008 that explored the question, "What is driving these poor results in higher education?" The results of this forum concluded with the Center for American Progress recommending that federal policy be enhanced with a stronger focus on postsecondary completion and student and college readiness. Specific recommendations focused on two key areas: (1) college-ready student strategies, and (2) student-ready college strategies.


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