Only 18% of today’s ninth-graders will eventually graduate with a postsecondary degree. To help mitigate this impending crisis, Blackboard clients and contacts across the globe are implementing innovative policies and practices to close the gap between high school and college. And in true educator fashion, they allowed us to share their greatest challenges and opportunities with you in Closing the Gap between High School and College – the newest publication in Blackboard’s growing body of practice-driven research.
For the report, we interviewed 24 education experts and leaders to pinpoint the three key challenges to closing the achievement gap: disparity between high school exit requirements and college entry expectations; lack of understanding and support for the modern student; and disconnect between skills being taught in high school and skills necessary for success in college and career.
Next, we identified what it will take to ease students’ transition to higher education. Here are six strategies outlined in greater detail in the report:
- Exposing high school students to the college experience with accelerated learning, including AP, IB and dual enrollment;
- Incorporating technology into the learning process;
- Prioritizing training for teachers so they can help prepare students for college success;
- Reevaluating how teachers can provide a more organic experience for students;
- Assessing the college-readiness of students early, while there is still time to intervene; and
- Adopting national standards that are aligned with entry requirements for higher education.
By implementing these strategies in a way that is sustainable, scalable, replicable, measurable, equitable and assessable, leaders with a K-20 vision can help close the gap between high school and college – and return America to the top of the class.