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Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University (NJ1)

In recent years, the education spotlight in the United States has shifted from focusing on high school graduation to postsecondary success. This shift in attention has been accompanied by a wealth of policies and initiatives aimed at preparing students to enter and succeed in college, including federal competitive grants programs, schoolwide reform initiatives, community-based education support structures, and many more. Over the past few years, the emergent field of college readiness has blossomed into an expansive effort involving multiple actors and spanning multiple sectors. Considering the rapid emergence and growth of the field, as well as the numerous players involved, keeping abreast of relevant policies and initiatives is both a challenge and a necessity. Researchers at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University (AISR) have undertaken to develop a brief guide to this burgeoning field, as part of the College Readiness Indicator System (CRIS) initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The CRIS initiative, led in collaboration with the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities (JGC) at Stanford University, aims to develop a collection of actionable indicators that measures the different dimensions of college readiness and allows for early identification of students who may need extra support to be able to finish high school ready to succeed in college. The CRIS initiative also aims to help districts develop a set of supports connected to these indicators. As an offshoot of this work, the authors' guide to the field highlights opportunities to address students' needs both in and out of school to ensure they have what it takes to be successful throughout college. To this end, they conducted a scan of the field, which drew on a review of education news coverage and publications by national education research and policy organizations from fall 2010 through summer 2011, supplemented with Web searches, covering a range of initiatives and organizations from the national to the local level, including school districts, states, and non-governmental organizations. This brief highlights the findings from this scan. Since the CRIS project aims to help districts and schools prepare students for success in postsecondary education, in this brief the authors focus on college readiness rather than career readiness. Information on Highlighted College Readiness Initiatives and Programs is appended. (Contains 2 figures and 25 footnotes.)

Descriptors: College Preparation, Student Needs, Guides, High School Graduates, Academic Standards, Skill Development, School Policy, Data Analysis, College Bound Students, Academic Persistence, At Risk Students, School Culture, Planning, Family Involvement, Communities of Practice

Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. Brown University Box 1985, Providence, RI 02912. Tel: 401-863-7990; Fax: 401-863-1290; e-mail: AISR_Info[at]; Web site:

Autor: McAlister, Sara; Mevs, Pascale


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