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Improving Academic Preparation for College: What We Know and How State and Federal Policy Can Help

By Robin Chait, Andrea Venezia


High remediation rates, stagnant college completion rates, and more time to degree completion suggest that many high school students are not fully ready to succeed academically in college.

Researchers and policymakers are asking what it truly means to be college ready. Are strong academics enough? What roles do financial and social resources play? What changes in federal and state policy would promote academic rigor and student preparation?

In this report, Robin Chait and Andrea Venezia explore these questions. They look closely at existing knowledge about postsecondary readiness and success, current federal, state, and local efforts to prepare students for college, and how well these efforts are working.

Drawing on their analysis, the authors outline a more expansive role for federal and state policy to improve preparation and readiness.

In addition, Chait and Venezia advocate for a definition of college readiness that includes:

  • Academic rigor
  • Grades
  • Specific academic skills needed to be successful in a college-level course
  • “College knowledge”—knowledge about how to apply, enroll, and succeed in a college environment

Read the executive summary of this report.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2009
Format: PDF
Pages: 40
Publisher: Center for American Progress

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