Mind the Gap: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success
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Mind the Gap: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success

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Mind the Gap, a 2010-released ACT policy report, examines the contributions of pre-college indicators that improve college and career readiness and success rates among underserved racial/ethnic ...

Mind the Gap, a 2010-released ACT policy report, examines the contributions of pre-college indicators that improve college and career readiness and success rates among underserved racial/ethnic minority students and lower income students. Join us for this important, engaging session to learn how awareness of these indicators can successfully narrow achievement gaps by focusing on college and career readiness for all.

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  • ACT research shows that CCR is directly related to persistence and completion. So if we even want to move that grad rate above 57%, we need to get kids meeting those benchmarks
  • The U.S. economy and employment opportunities for our students and workers are hampered by inadequate transition and completion rates at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Less than 20% of U.S. ninth graders graduate from high school and then enter and graduate from college within typical timeframes.
  • With over 80% of occupations requiring a minimum of an associates degree, it is vital that ALL students, follow their high school career with some form of postsecondary education/training. Yet we see gaps in college access and success.
  • Gap 1: While rates of college enrollment and graduation are low, aspirations are high—but not for ALL. Underrepresented minority students and low income students tend to have aspirations for lower levels of attainment. Among PLAN-tested 10 th graders in 2008-09, the % of African American, Hispanic, and American Indian students who expected to earn less than an associate’s degree were greater than those of Asian American and White students, while percentages of African American, American Indian, and Hispanic students who expected to earn at least a bachelor’s degree were smaller than those of Asian American and White students.
  • Gap 2: College enrollment rates are lower among underrepresented minority students and low income students Immediate college enrollment rates are higher for Asian American and White students, and as annual family income range increases, the college enrollment rate increases. Moreover, African American and American Indian high school graduates and students from lower-income families are somewhat more likely to delay enrolling in college. By delaying enrollment, these students are at a greater risk of not completing a postsecondary program.
  • Gap 3: Although 57-75% of high school students enroll in college, substantial numbers do not persist to a college degree, particularly underrepresented minority and low income. The national retention rate for first-to second-year persistence is approx. 88% (Adelman, 2004), however, Figure 4 shows that Asian American and White students are more likely to persist to their second year than African American and American Indian Students, and are slightly more likely than Hispanic students. In addition, as family income increases, the first –to second-year retention rate increases.
  • The benefits of postsecondary education are evident. And with the growing number of Blacks, Hispanics other underrepresented groups entering the workplace, the need to close the gaps and prepare ALL students is necessary. So now what? How do we prepare and respond to this economic opportunity and cultivate a more holistic college-going and college- graduating community? Most recently ACT has published Mind the Gaps: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success . This study describes the current state of college readiness among high school students, and examines pre-college indicators that are proven effective in college readiness and success--specifically among underrepresented student groups. In this report, ACT has identified 3 academic factors that will help to close these gaps: Levels of academic achievement Coursework preparation Educational and career planning
  • As the complexity of the mathematics course sequence taken in high school increases, the chances of students enrolling in college and persisting to their second year also increase.
  • Students who take Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in high school are more likely to: enroll in college the fall following graduation, and re-enroll in the same college their second year, than students who take only Biology and Chemistry or fewer courses in science.
  • Aspirations to attend a postsecondary institutional are not enough, we need to make certain that students are offered guidance to connect their educational aspirations to sold academic preparation. Narrows the gap between student aspirations and high school course planning. Applicable for college-focused students and career-focused. Develops academic discipline. Start monitoring and intervening as early as 6 th grade.
  • Vertical alignment to postsecondary educational expectations (2-yr, 4-yr, trade schools, etc) and expectations for workforce training programs. Leads students and educators in the right direction. Anchored by known post secondary academic and workplace requirements. ACT’s College Readiness Standards/Common Core Standards
  • Courses with the same title can vary widely in quality and intensity across schools. Access to high quality teachers and instruction that includes depth and intensity. Make supplemental instruction available.
  • This shift requires that our high school students not only enroll, but persist in postsecondary training and education in order to acquire the skill sets necessary to fill these newly vacated jobs. We need all high school graduates ready for college, ready for the workforce and ready for success.

Mind the Gap: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success Mind the Gap: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success Presentation Transcript

  • Mind the GapsHow College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success April Hansen Director of Program Solutions
  • How do we define an Achievement Gap?• The achievement gap is defined as the difference on a number of educational measures between the performance of subgroups of students, especially subgroups classified by race/ethnicity, disability, or socio-economic status. 2
  • How do we define College and Career Ready?The level of preparation a student needs to be ready to enroll and succeed in—without remediation—a first-year, credit-bearing course at two- or four-year institutions or in trade or technical schools.Adopted by the Common Core State Standards Initiative
  • ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks Empirically derived scores needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding first-year credit-bearing college course. College EXPLORE EXPLORE PLANTest ACT Compass Course Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10 EnglishEnglish Composition 13 14 15 18 77 CollegeMath Algebra 17 18 19 22 52Reading Social Science 15 16 17 21 88Science Biology 20 20 21 24 NA
  • Value of College ReadinessStudents who are college/career ready when theyleave high school have a significantly higherlikelihood of:– Enrolling in a postsecondary program,– Enrolling in credit bearing courses without the need for remediation,– Succeeding in entry level postsecondary course work,– Persisting in their postsecondary education,– Completing a postsecondary degree or training program, and– Entering the job market with significantly higher lifetime earning potential.
  • Between 2008 and 2018…• 29 million students will graduate from public high schools …• 34 million jobs will need to be filled due to retiring or transitioning workers…• 10 million of the 29 million public high school graduates will be underrepresented students who traditionally have been underserved by K-12 education.To fill workforce demands, it is critical that each student graduate from high school ready for college and career. (Business Roundtable, Dec. 2009)
  • Leaky Educational Pipeline 8th graders Graduate from high school Enter collegePersist to 2nd yearGraduate college (Business Roundtable, Nov. 2009)
  • Barriers to CollegeBarriers to College Access Three Major Gaps: Aspirations Enrollment Retention
  • Gap 11 -Educational Aspirations Gap - Educational Aspirations 2008-09 PLAN-tested 10th Graders African American Asian AmericanEducational Whiteaspirations tend to American Indianbe lower for under- Hispanicrepresentedminority and low-income students Less than 2 years 2 years college 4 or more years of college/other of college Aspirations
  • Gap 2 – College Enrollment 2007 ACT-tested High School GraduatesImmediate Delayed Actual college enrollment rates are lower among underrepresented and low income students.
  • Gap 3 – College Retention Gap 3 - College Retention Retention Rates for 2007 ACT-tested StudentsRe-enrolled any college Re-enrolled same college Underrepresented and low-income students tend to have lower college retention rates.
  • Closing the Gaps Closing The Gaps Academic Factors Influencing College Success: 2. College Readiness 3. Taking the Right Courses 4. Course Rigor
  • Factor 1 – College Readiness Factor 1: College ReadinessStudents who are ready for college are more likely to:• Enroll in college the fall following high school graduation• Persist to a second year at the same institution• Earn a grade of B or higher in first-year college courses• Earn a first-year college GPA of 3.0 or higher• Less likely to take remedial courses• More likely to graduate within 150% of time Regardless of ethnicity and SES
  • 2009 ACT-tested High School Graduates: College Ready
  • Factor 2 – Taking the Right Courses Factor 2: Taking the Right Courses Students who take challenging courses are more likely to be successful in college.• Students who take the ACT-recommended core curriculum in high school significantly increase their chances for success in college.• Students who take higher-level courses in high school are significantly more likely to have higher levels of achievement in college.
  • Factor 3 – Course Rigor Factor 3: Course Rigor The nature of the courses students take in high school, especially in math and science, play a large role in college success.• Rigorous courses can positively influence college enrollment, retention and GPA.• Course names do not equate to rigorous courses.• Course curriculum, teacher effectiveness, and grading standards vary among high schools.
  • College Enrollment/Retention Rates Math Course Sequence Enrolled in college first year Re-enrolled in collegeLess than Alg 1, second yearGeom, Alg IIAlg 1, Geom, Alg IIAlg 1, Geom, Alg II,Other Adv MathAlg 1, Geom, Alg IIOther Adv Math,TrigAlg 1, Geom, Alg II,Other Adv Math,Trig, Calc As the rigor of math courses increases, the chances of college enrollment/persistence also increase.
  • College Enrollment/Retention Rates Science Course Sequence Enrolled in college first year Re-enrolled in college second yearBiologyBiology and ChemistryBiology, Chemistry,and Physics As the rigor of science courses increases, the chances of college enrollment/persistence also increase.
  • Closing the Gaps Closing the Gaps Gaps in college enrollment, first-yearsuccess, and GPA are reduced for studentswho are ready for college -- particularly forunderrepresented and low-income students.
  • Reductions in Racial/Ethnic Gaps in College Enrollment Associated with Meeting All Four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks Enrolled in college first year White Underrepresented minorities All 75 61 14 Gap reduction: 8 percentage pointsCollege ready 84 in 4 subjects 78 6
  • Reductions in Racial/Ethnic Gaps in College Retention Rates Associated with Meeting All Four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks Re-enrolled in college second year White Underrepresented minorities All 74 68 6 Gap reduction: 5 percentage pointsCollege ready 84 in 4 subjects 83 1
  • Reductions in Family Income Gaps in College Enrollment Rates Associated with Meeting All Four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks Enrolled in college first year Highest family income group Lowest family income group All 82 58 24 Gap reduction: 16 percentage pointsCollege ready 85 in 4 subjects 77 8
  • Reductions in Family Income Gaps in College Retention Rates Associated with Meeting All Four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks Re-enrolled in college second year Highest family income group Lowest family income group All 79 66 13 Gap reduction: 5 percentage pointsCollege ready 86 in 4 subjects 78 8
  • Reductions in Racial/Ethnic Gaps in 4-Year College Degree Completion Rates Associated with Meeting All Four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks Graduated from college in 4 years White Underrepresented minorities All 39 26 13 Gap reduction: 5 percentage pointsCollege ready 86 in 4 subjects 78 8
  • Recommendation 1 Recommendation 1Close the gap between student aspirations andhigh school course plans by ensuring that allstudents take at least a core curriculum in highschool. • Core program can be taught in different contexts(academic or career), but all courses must be based on college- and career-ready standards.
  • ACT National Curriculum Survey 2009Percent agreeing college ready = work ready High School Teachers: 71% Postsecondary Instructors: 78% 33
  • ACT National Curriculum Survey 2009Do secondary instructors reduce expectations forstudents they perceive are not college bound? Not at all: 6% Reduce academic expectations: 94% Reduce completely or a great deal: 42% 34
  • Recommendation- 2 Recommendation 2Close the gap in alignment of high schoolcourses by focusing those courses on whatstudents need for college and career afterhigh school: college and career readinessstandards/Common Core State Standards. • Vertical alignment • Course content must tie directly to postsecondary educational expectations (2-yr, 4-yr, trade, technical) and expectations for workforce training programs.
  • ACT National Curriculum Survey 2009Are students prepared for college-level work in theircontent area?High School Teachers: 91%Postsecondary Instructors: 26% 36
  • Recommendation - 3 Recommendation 3Close the gap in the quality of high schoolcourses by covering the essential knowledgeand skills needed for college and career insufficient depth and intensity for all students. • Equal access • Highly effective teachers• Make supplemental instruction available
  • ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks Empirically derived scores needed on an ACT subject-area test to indicate a 50% chance of obtaining a B or higher or a 75% chance of obtaining a C or higher in the corresponding first-year credit-bearing college course. College EXPLORE EXPLORE PLANTest ACT Compass Course Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10 EnglishEnglish Composition 13 14 15 18 77 CollegeMath Algebra 17 18 19 22 52Reading Social Science 15 16 17 21 88Science Biology 20 20 21 24 NA
  • Implications ImplicationsK-12: Help all high school students becomecollege and career ready by graduation.Postsecondary: Reinforce the need forentering students to be college and careerready to maximize their chances for collegesuccess.As a nation, we need ALL high school graduates ready for college, ready for workforce training programs, and ready to meet the needs of the 21st century workforce.
  • Presentation Materials Presentation MaterialsThe Condition of College & Career Readiness Class of 2011ACT State Profile Reports 2011http://www.act.org/news/data/11/index.htmlMind the Gaps: How College Readiness Narrows AchievementGaps in College Successhttp://www.act.org/research/policymakers/reports/index.html 41