It’s all over the news! Students throughout the nation are testing in increasing numbers as unprepared for college. Each article you read points fingers to a different issue from curriculum to the old antics of “No Child Left Behind” as the culprit. Regardless of who there is to blame, just talking about it is not the answer.
In Long Beach, California two community colleges pave the way for student’s to be better college prepared by collaborating with local high schools. This collaboration may be the best way to dramatically reduce the number of students who fall into the category of “unqualified” and are forced to redo High School level classes as a college student. This remedial coursework is a waste of time and money for students. Why not make the goal to show up prepared? After all, going to college is the first big step to adulthood. College proves great responsibility in students and for some, maybe that’s exactly the problem.
Like many schools, Long Beach City College uses high school grades to help determine whether incoming students have remedial needs which is a shift from the previous dependency on standardized placement tests. An initial group of 1,000 students from Long Beach high schools were placed in this new method. These students were far more likely to take and pass credit-bearing courses as well as challeng themsleves with transfer-level coursework than their peers.
“For example, of these 1,000 test students 53% took transfer-level English courses in their first semester while only 5.5% of students from the same high school district took the courses the previous year – meaning they were 10 times more likely to jump directly into credit-bearing English” (InsideHigherEd.com, 2013). 62% of these students passed the college level English courses and 60% of the total amount of students qualified for college level English placement.
High School’s in Southern Texas take a different approach that is equally impressive. Of the 68 partnering high schools, a total number of 12,000 students are currently dual enrolled in lower level college courses as part of their high school curriculum. These programs help boost college preparedness among high school students including pre-college counseling, academic camps, early college high schools and scholarship programs. Dual enrollment can be the most extensive as well as the most attractive option for student’s and their families as colleges often waive the tuition for participants who are already paying taxes to attend a public high school.
With the implementation of dual enrollment across the United States, high schools have partnered to lower the rate of unprepared students by as much as 17%. The remedial placement rate has dropped by 45% since 2004 in these school districts alone. Shirley A. Reed, South Texas college’s president states that “The high schools have accepted responsibility for college readiness. Now we share in the responsibility.” Many college leaders will agree that failing to collaborate with K-12 is no longer an option to help prepare students.
“Long Beach could serve as a good example beyond California, however, given its ability to move the needle on college preparation in the face of major challenges. And the diverse student population at Long Beach City College, who come from homes where a college-going culture is not the norm, will soon be more common at other colleges around the country” (InsideHigherEd.com, 2013).
Are you prepared for college? Have you learned the necessary skills for studying and retaining information you have read? Are you having a hard time balancing necessary standardized test preparation (ACT or SAT) with school and extra curricular activities? That’s what we are here for! Join us at SAT Preparation Group to learn how to better your life, your health, and your educational habits.
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