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To remain competitive in the global economy the nation must increase the percentage of Americans who enter and graduate with a postsecondary degree or certificate. 

Picture from a college graduation ceremony.

To achieve this ambitious outcome, K-12 and postsecondary leaders must work side by side to align policies, programs, and initiatives to advance both college readiness and college completion. Only strong and enduring collaborations between K-12 and higher education systems can address the shared policy concerns around college preparation and success.  Embracing these changes will lead to improved outcomes for more students.

Achieve is committed to identifying and promoting model policies that align postsecondary and K-12 policies and practices in the interest of improving student transitions. These policy areas occupy the “transition” space where both K-12 and postsecondary leaders have joint responsibility, such as:

  • Aligning graduation requirements with admissions requirements;
  • Reporting remediation rates as part of K-12 accountability and higher education accountability;
  • Producing feedback reports for high schools; and
  • Eliminating or transforming remedial education.

Higher education leadership is critical to ensuring that high school graduates are prepared for postsecondary success.  Whether students enter two- or four-year institutions as recent graduates or as adults, all need to have foundational knowledge in core subjects such as math and English language arts.  Only postsecondary education leaders and faculty can communicate what their expectations are about the knowledge and skills that will prepare students for success in entry-level credit-bearing courses.  Transitioning students from high school graduation to postsecondary success requires higher education faculty and leadership be engaged in K-12 efforts such as standards setting and curriculum development as well as supporting rigorous high school course requirements and developing college-ready assessments.