College-Ready by High School Graduation?

Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

Under a 2011 statewide policy, Florida 11th graders who test just below “college-ready” must enroll in 12th grade “college readiness and success” courses that the state hopes will prepare them for introductory college coursework.

This program evaluation is looking at the Florida College and Career Readiness Initiative (FCCRI), designed to help students become college-ready by high school graduation, and subsequently to succeed in obtaining college credentials. When the initiative began in 2008, some 65 percent of students entering community college in Florida required remediation.

To determine college-readiness, Florida administers a college placement test called the PERT (Postsecondary Education Readiness Test) to all students in grade 11 who meet high school graduation criteria but are unlikely to meet college readiness criteria, based on their 10th grade ACT scores.

CNA’s five-year analysis is making use of both quantitative and qualitative data including administrative records to report on several indicators of the fidelity of implementation; surveys and small-group discussions with teachers of CRS courses; classroom observations; and student essays describing their postsecondary plans and how well their school did in helping them to shape and realize those plans.

The quasi-experimental design is evaluating the impact of the initiative on student outcomes, as well as providing qualitative feedback on program implementation.

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