That’s a million-dollar question … with seemingly a million answers.
And while this topic is routinely batted back and forth, the fact remains that inconsistencies in definitions and data persist. The national College & Career Readiness & Success Center at the American Institutes for Research reports that only three of the six New England states have defined what it means to be college-ready. What’s more, each of these definitions differs in significant ways.
But without measures to understand whether students are acquiring the knowledge needed to pursue postsecondary education and what steps they are taking along the way, efforts to boost college readiness fall flat. And with more and more jobs requiring a degree, the implications are great—especially for low-income and minority students.
A new NEBHE Policy Fast Facts paints a picture of high school students’ college preparedness in New England using selected available measures.
Candace Williams is a NEBHE policy and research analyst.