College Readiness: A Guide to the Field

Posted by on May 07, 2012

Ready, set, go

A new report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform examines the burgeoning field of college readiness, with models to help districts, schools, and other interested stakeholders prepare students for college success. The report is part of the College Readiness Indicator System initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. PEN is one of several national partners on the Know How To Go initiative, also referenced in the report. The report defines college-readiness through three dimensions — academic preparedness, academic tenacity, and college knowledge. The report finds that common strategies to help students gain content-area knowledge and key cognitive skills for success in college include aligning standards, curricula, and assessments to college-ready expectations; using data to drive college-readiness policies; and intervening early to keep students on a college-ready track. Successful programs also promote academic tenacity by exposing students to tenacity-building activities; providing accelerated and extended learning opportunities that promote persistence and attainment; restructuring schools into personalized learning communities; and providing additional supports for at-risk students. Finally, successful programs create a college-going culture in the school and community; support students through the college-planning process; and engage families in learning about and supporting college-going. The guide includes references to the Postsecondary Success Initiative, a project of Public Education Network, taking place in local education funds in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Miami.

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