16 college and career readiness resources

College and career readiness should start early to help students develop growth mindsets and outline goals for their personal success. With students coming from different backgrounds and socio-economic situations, one path doesn’t fit all.

College readiness and access is often difficult, and students aren’t always sure how to embark upon their chosen career path. COVID-19 made college and career readiness more complicated for some students who chose to delay their postsecondary plans during the pandemic due to health, safety, family, and financial concerns.

Here are a handful of college and career readiness resources and tools to help educators at all levels inspire their students to pursue their academic and career goals.…Read More

New Innovative SEL Tool from Aperture Education helps High School Students Build Skills for College and Career

Goal-setting and having a voice in their own learning are powerful motivators for students, especially those in high school. To help educators use these strategies to support social and emotional learning (SEL), Aperture Education has created the Aperture Student Portal for high school students, an online platform that gives students access to the DESSA-High School Edition Student Self-Report, goal-setting tools, and immediate feedback to help them grow in their social and emotional competencies. These competencies, which include self-management, personal responsibility, decision making and more, are vital for career and college readiness and imperative for any student navigating the dynamic challenges of distance or hybrid learning. The platform is gamified to optimize student engagement and motivation. Because the portal can be accessed online, teachers can use it to support SEL both in the classroom and during distance learning.

“SEL assessments help teachers understand students’ strengths and needs so they can plan individual and school-wide interventions and evaluate student progress. And we know giving students a voice in their learning is important, especially for high school students,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “Our Aperture Student Portal provides an engaging way for high school students to take stock of their social and emotional strengths and needs – and helps them strengthen their skills. It is also a great way for teachers to support SEL when they can’t be with students in-person or don’t have a dedicated time to focus on SEL during the school day.”

About the Aperture Student Portal…Read More

UWorld Launches New Tools to Support Educators in Fostering AP® Success

UWorld, the worldwide leader in online learning to prepare for high-stakes exams, today announced the launch of AP® (Advanced Placement®) Learning Tools, a new College Readiness solution to help educators enhance instruction, improve student performance, and effectively prepare for AP exams. The tools save teachers time while enabling students to achieve their academic goals.

Forty percent of students who take AP exams only earn a score of 1 or 2, but studies show that students who score a 3 or higher are more likely to be successful in college and graduate. AP Learning Tools uses College Board®-level questions and clear, concise answer explanations to help students understand why they got an answer wrong, retain information, develop critical thinking skills, and deepen subject-area knowledge.

“Some 1.24 million students took an AP exam in 2019, and that number is predicted to grow year-over-year—and yet educators have little access to AP instruction and exam prep resources that are particularly effective in distance and hybrid learning environments,” said Chandra S. Pemmasani, M.D., UWorld’s founder and CEO. “With our AP Learning Tools, educators have access to progress and performance tracking that helps them identify gaps, modify instructional approaches, and support students—all from their computer.”

All of UWorld’s College Readiness solutions are developed using research-based educational strategies that support instruction, improve engagement, and build critical-thinking skills so that students have the knowledge and confidence to succeed. The answer choices used in AP Learning Tools are updated weekly to ensure alignment to current AP courses and exams. An easy-to-use assignment tool allows educators to customize assignments and integrate content into lessons. Plus, reporting tools provide meaningful insight into student AP performance at the classroom, school and district level.…Read More

South Carolina adopts science video service

Supplementary STEM videos serve to engage students in science learning

science-videosStudents in South Carolina will soon have access to short Twig Science and Tigtag Science videos through a new statewide partnership.

The South Carolina State Board of Education approved the adoption with Carolina Biological. These supplemental STEM resources can enhance science curriculum connecting science teaching and learning to career and college readiness.

South Carolina schools and Districts can now use State Board of Education approved instructional materials funding to purchase and implement Tigtag (K-5) and Twig (level 6 and above) online learning tools to supplement core curriculum programs (such as the Smithsonian’s K-8 STC Program™ – also adopted by the state) or other textbook or inquiry programs used in South Carolina schools.…Read More

A college readiness tool that every district should use

The National Student Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker is an invaluable service that can help districts better prepare their students for college success.

college-readinessThe National Student Clearinghouse is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 by the higher-education community to track students who received loans to help pay for college tuition. Graduate schools provide enrollment information, while the NSC verifies to lenders that students are taking the necessary course work.

Since expanding its services, the NSC currently holds records for more than 137 million students and 3,500 institutions of higher education, covering 98 percent of the current enrollment in both public and private colleges and universities. Today, the NSC continues to provide enrollment, diploma verification, and transcript services to students, lenders, and employers.

I first became aware of the NSC several years ago when Rick Torres, its chief executive officer, approached me about StudentTracker for High Schools, a new service his organization was offering. Through this service, the NSC provides U.S. high schools with the most accurate data regarding their graduates who have enrolled in college.…Read More

SOPHIA.org launches free college readiness tools

With the cost of higher education skyrocketing and two-thirds of today’s students unprepared academically for college, SOPHIA.org has launched a new program called “Operation College Success,” offering free tools to help address the issue of college readiness and affordability.

SOPHIA, an online education platform that provides 33,000 free academic tutorials on a variety of subjects, announced the new program with Bill Nye the Science Guy during a May 13 event on Capitol Hill.

With Operation College Success, SOPHIA has expanded its offerings to include free college readiness resources that include……Read More

Report shows high school graduates enter college unprepared

A new report details methods to solve the disparity between high school exit exams and college entrance requirements.

High school students should be exposed to college-level courses early on, and they should learn in technology-rich classrooms that redesign the learning process to emphasize problem-solving, critical thinking, and other higher-order skills, in order to help close the achievement gap between high school and college, according to a new report that highlights high school graduates’ lack of preparedness for the rigors of a college education.

Entitled “Closing the Gap between High School and College,” the report comes from the Blackboard Institute, an independent research organization within the ed-tech company Blackboard Inc. While it’s obvious that Blackboard has a financial stake in advocating for more use of technology in the classroom, the report was based on interviews with education experts from K-12 schools, community colleges, research institutions, and nonprofit organizations.…Read More

CUNY, IBM to open unique school in New York City

The City University of New York and IBM will open a unique school that merges high school with two years of college, allowing students to earn an associate’s degree, reports the Associated Press. Those students will be “first in line for a job at IBM,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in his Sept. 27 announcement. The mayor also renewed a proposal to do away with automatic teacher tenure and instead ensure it’s linked to classroom performance. And he said the city would work with the state to end “seat time”—requiring students to spend a certain number of hours at their desks learning every subject—and would try to change a state law that requires schools to buy printed textbooks rather than use digital content. “That may be good for the business textbook industry but it’s really a bad deal for our students in this day and age,” Bloomberg said. The mayor also said the city will use a $36 million federal grant to enlist highly skilled teachers to work in low-performing schools and mentor fellow instructors. He said the city wants to use a four-tier rating system to determine whether a teacher gets tenure, and that beginning this year, only teachers rated “effective” or “highly effective” will be awarded lifetime job protection. The partnership with IBM for a high school-college hybrid will build on work the company is already doing in community colleges, said Stan Litow, vice president of corporate affairs for IBM…

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ACT results show slight increase in college, career readiness

Students slowly move toward college and career readiness while racial and ethnic gaps remain.
Students are slowly moving toward college and career readiness, though racial and ethnic gaps remain.

Only 24 percent of 2010 high school graduates who took the ACT met or surpassed all four of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, and while there is much room for improvement, college and career readiness advocates are encouraged by the increase in this year’s figure—up from 21 percent in 2006 and 23 percent in 2009.

The results reflect a slow but steady increase in college readiness as the population of ACT-tested graduates has grown to new levels—up by 30 percent since 2006—and become more diverse. Ethnic and/or racial minority students this year made up 29 percent of all ACT-tested graduates, up from 23 percent in 2006. The highest growth was in the number of Hispanic graduates tested, which has nearly doubled since 2006, increasing by 84 percent. College readiness is determined in English, reading, math, and science.…Read More

Ed-tech grant program aims to boost college readiness

The Educause-backed program will fund ed-tech projects designed to make high school graduates college ready.
The Educause-backed program will fund ed-tech projects designed to make high school graduates college ready.

Six months after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pumped $3.6 million into a national certification program for teachers of remedial college courses, a new initiative will dole out grants to education-technology projects aimed at improving college readiness, especially among low-income students.

The Next Gen Learning Challenges program, launched in late June and headed by nonprofit education technology supporter Educause, will aim to raise America’s high school graduation rate – which hovers around 50 percent among Hispanic, African American, and low-income students – and ensure that college freshmen are ready for higher education without having to take non-credit-bearing remedial classes.…Read More