Presentation on theme: "Improving the Transition From High School to Community College Michael W. Kirst Stanford University."— Presentation transcript:
Improving the Transition From High School to Community College Michael W. Kirst Stanford University
Context of K-16 Disjunctures Most ambitious generation ever – Over 80% want college degree Percent of Bachelors degrees barely increases Media pays attention to selective postsecondary, but problems in non- selective
Context of K-16 Disjunctures continued 80% of students and 85% of institutions are open enrollment, or accept all qualified applicants About 60% in non-selective in remediation Completion rates over 80% in selective, but much lower in non-selective (60% dropouts for 2-year Bachelors’ aspirants) Racial/ethnic minorities suffer the most
The Evolution of the Disjuncture between K-12 and Postsecondary Education Historic separation of policy and practice between higher education and K-12. Student standards are established in separate orbits. K-16 faculty rarely work together. No institutionalized entity at the state or regional level to make policy or integrate K-16 practice.
The Evolution of the Disjuncture between K-12 and Postsecondary Education continued No organized group lobbies for K-16 linkages. No data or accountability system regarding K-16 performance. Nobody loses a job for poor K-16 linkage or performance. Programmatic responses, such as Outreach programs, are often fragmented and rarely evaluated.
Findings Current State Policies Perpetuate Disjunctures between K-12 and Postsecondary Education: Multiple and confusing assessments; Disconnected curricula; Lack of connected, longitudinal, data; Few K-16 accountability mechanisms; Insufficient K-16 governance mechanisms.
Findings Student, Parent, and K-12 Educator Understandings about College Preparation: Students’ college knowledge is vague and varies by student group; Teachers’ college knowledge is incomplete and they play a major role; College resources and connections with colleges are inadequate; College preparatory opportunities are inequitable; and, There is a lack of college counseling for all students.
Selected Quotes “Probably just like everybody else [I believe it should be] a seamless flow for the students. The content, the knowledge they had in high school should be a foundation for them to be successful in college. That transition should be as smooth as possible. They should be able to walk into those [college] classes and feel confident.” – college administrator
Selected Quotes continued “The one thing – it’s the good thing about community college, I would say – is that a student can come here with absolutely no forethought, you know?” – college advisor “This is the thing. I’ve always done well in grammar, and I’ve always done well in English. I got As throughout high school, and I was placed in the lowest English [in the community college].” – community college student
Why Worry about Disjunctures between K-12 and Postsecondary Education? Creates incoherent policies, misdirected incentives, and inadequate student preparation. Students (and educators) lack signals/information, and receive conflicting signals/information, regarding college preparation. Low SES and first generation college-going suffer the most. State assessments/accountability system breakdown in higher grades.
Why Worry about Disjunctures between K- 12 and Postsecondary Education? continued High level of remediation at the postsecondary level. Different tests to prospective college students do not measure same kinds of skills and knowledge. Outdated, given that 88% of students intend to go to college after high school and over 70% do matriculate directly.
Major Action Areas for Reform Provide all students, their parents, and educators with accurate, high quality, information about, and access to, courses that will help prepare students for college-level standards. Shift media, policy, and research attention to include broad access colleges and universities (that approximately 80% of college students attend). Expand the focus of local, state, and federal programs from access to college to include access to success in college.
Policy Implications for Community Colleges Track signals to high school students regarding college expectations and requirements Track more carefully the signals students receive concerning placement Send clearer signals about realistic transfer possibilities
Policy Implications for Community Colleges Create initiatives to overcome the lack of high school academic preparation Review the K-12 standards and assessments Consider CSU augmented CST test Collect more data on specific populations as they move in and through colleges
Policy Implications for Community Colleges Link junior/senior year of high school to initial year of college Expand dual enrollment to include more prospective community college students Create a continuous policy-making apparatus for K-16
Implications of Developing and Implementing K-16 reforms Set goals and objectives across traditional policy lines. Collect data to understand needs across system boundaries. The traditional separation of educational governance needs to be reexamined. Joint budgeting is needed in certain areas to allow projects that cut across system boundaries to function.
Implications of Developing and Implementing K-16 reforms continued Education agency staff must work together toward common goals. The natural suspicion that exists between high school teachers and postsecondary faculty must be broken down. All incentive and sanction systems should be designed to encourage K-16 systems to interact where appropriate.