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P-16 Councils from 30,000 Feet: What Do They Do? Why Are They Needed? Charles S. Lenth State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) ECS National Forum.

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Presentation on theme: "P-16 Councils from 30,000 Feet: What Do They Do? Why Are They Needed? Charles S. Lenth State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) ECS National Forum."— Presentation transcript:

1 P-16 Councils from 30,000 Feet: What Do They Do? Why Are They Needed? Charles S. Lenth State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) ECS National Forum July 13, 2007

2 Limitations of “Boundaries and Definitions” in Education Students get counted only if they are in the system. Where students are matters more than where they go. The sub-cultures of education are defined by the established boundaries. Problems are defined and solutions are limited by the boundaries we use.

3 Sources of P-16 Information Personal exposure, long but thin Organizations like ECS, Education Trust, SREB that have been in this business a long time Increasing SHEEO involvement (e.g., P-16, Access and Diversity, Teacher Quality Committee Report) Workshop on linking K-12 – higher education data systems Early data from survey by NCHEMS on P-16 functions (supported by Lumina Foundation)

4 Perspectives and Limitations From the outside looking in From the postsecondary / higher education end of things (transitions downstream and upstream) State initiatives and contexts continue to change rapidly

5 How Widespread Are P-16 Postsecondary Activities? All but 11 states say they have some identifiable P-16 efforts or functions. Four more states say it is coming. Many states have had P-16 efforts or initiatives for more than a decade. Number, forms, and areas of state P-16 activities have grown steadily, though not continuously or uniformly.

6 Mandated or Recommended College Preparatory Curriculum Mandatory and course-specific in at least 13 states Recommended in at least 19 states Coming soon in at least 8 states Not there or immediately planned in the remaining 10 or fewer states

7 Competencies and Skills that Define “College Ready” Articulated in at least 19 states, but consistently assessed in far fewer. Under consideration or development in at least 12 additional states. Specifically not currently being considered in other states—not ready for this yet.

8 College Transition Bridges Most states offer accelerated progress options – AP courses, dual enrollment, and early-college high schools More than 20 states have statewide policies for college / remedial placement At least 16 states use recommended or required college placement test

9 Postsecondary Transfer and Articulation Some statewide policy in all but 3 states Transferable general education core courses in more than 2/3 of states AA/AS degrees from community colleges meet public four-year general education requirements in all but 5 states Inter-institutional course equivalency much less common

10 Alternative Degree Paths Statewide public test-out or competency-based assessment in 12 states State-supported alternative institutions in nearly half the states; others have program alternatives within institutions Central bank or catalog of on-line courses in over half the states, including regional About 16 states provide institutional incentives to improve degree production or completion; hardly any provide incentives to students

11 Other State Roles Electronic transcripts under development in several states (Indiana, Minnesota) High school feedback reports are relatively common, if not always used or even usable Linkages to workforce data and employment outcomes Surveys and analyses of adult education needs and services

12 Some Caveats Things are not always as good as they look. Methods to analyze effectiveness of P-16 policies/strategies just starting to be developed. Some P-16 changes require sizable up-front costs and capacity investments. Politically sustainable--elected and non-elected officials need agendas that work for them.

13 What’s Essential for the Success of P-16 Councils? Leadership and broad political support – to get started and to sustain momentum Consensus and collaboration on state education needs and goals Linked or unified student-level data systems to identify and focus on problems Concentrated focus that yields demonstrable results An established “place” in policy development that works across sectors and institutions

14 Challenges to Keep in Mind Governments like to draw boundaries, standardize definitions, and count things. What can we do when these get in the way of what we need from education? How can we keep P-16 councils focused on what they need to do and do best— making the parts of education work together more effectively?

15 Advice to P-16 Councils Take a few bold steps, and keep moving. Set a clear direction, and use multiple paths to get there. Plan for the long-term, but prepare for surprises and look for new opportunities. Assume local knowledge and human inventiveness, and change strategies accordingly.

16 Thank You! Contact information: Charlie Lenth For forthcoming NCHEMS survey: Pete Ewell Marianne Boeke


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