May 1, 2013

ACT Report says High School Students are not prepared for College

Recently released findings from the ACT National Curriculum Survey suggest a continued gap between what high schools are teaching and what colleges expect their incoming freshmen to know.  

 In fact, the overall disconnect between high school perceptions of “college-ready” and the actual expectations of college instructors is really quite chilling.

According to the report, the vast majority (89 percent) of high school teachers surveyed reported that their students are either “well” or “very well” prepared for college-level work in their subject areas after leaving their classes.  In contrast, only about one fourth (26%) of college instructors reported that their incoming students are either “well” or “very well” prepared for first-year credit-bearing courses in their subject area.  

“When high school teachers believe their students are well prepared for college-level courses, but colleges disagree, we have a problem,” said Jon Erickson, ACT’s president of education. “If we are to improve the college and career readiness of our nation’s high school graduates, we must make sure that our standards are aligned between high school and college.”

And how do you know there’s a problem?  The percentage of freshmen who had to take remedial classes upon entering college stands at 20.4 percent according to the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  Of the students entering two-year public schools, 24 percent were required to take non-credit-bearing classes to get up to speed.

To help address the disconnect  between high school and college expectations, ACT recommends that more be done to educate teachers about the skills students actually need to succeed in college.  The report also urges greater collaboration between teachers and postsecondary educators on curricula and classroom materials.

No comments:

Post a Comment