Are you College Ready?

The Four Key Dimensions of College Readiness

From David T. Conley, CEO of the Educational Policy Improvement Center

There are many benefits to being "college ready", perhaps the most significant one being the ability to take college-level courses from the start, thereby bypassing remediation. Remedial courses not only cost extra money, but they do not count as degree credits. In other words, students not only prolong their college experience in terms of added costs, but they delay in their college student identity formation, which may lead to lower self-esteem and declining rates to graduation.

Key Cognitive Strategies
Problem formulation, research, interpretation, communication, precision, and accuracy

Content Knowledge
Key foundational content and "big ideas" from core subjects

Academic Behaviors
Self management skills, time management skills, study skills, goal setting, self-awareness, persistence

Contextual Skills and Awareness
Admissions requirements, college types and missions, affording college, college culture, relationships with professors

Four Key Dimensions of College Readiness

So what can I do as a current high school student?

Take advantage of your senior year.  Make it meaningful and challenging!

  • Take a math course. Even though it's not required, research shows that continuing math studies your senior year improves your chances of placing directly into a college-level course.
  • Set ambitious learning goals. Further study in a subject area like math and science, humanities, or a career field of at least 4 credits is a powerful factor in improving student achievement.
  • Take learning outside the classroom. Intern or shadow adults who work in careers of interest. discuss issues in groups rather than just listening to a lecture and memorizing for a test.
  • Early experience with college. Take a college course at a local community college or university during your junior or senior years (ACE link) and earn college credit while still enrolled in high school.
  • Read widely on your own. By reading beyond what is required in a particular class, a student builds their vocabulary and improves writing skills dramatically. An additional bonus is that it familiarizes a student to what will be expected in college, where courses will have extensive reading lists.