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Defining College Readiness in Washington State

The 2004 Master Plan for Higher Education in Washington State called for defining college readiness in several core subjects, including math, science, English, social studies, and the arts.

In 2005, the state provided funds for the Higher Education Coordination Board to define college readiness in English and science. 

  • Phase 1 (2006-07) - preliminary English and science college readiness definitions. 
  • Phase 2 (2008-10), pilot teams of teachers integrate definitions in lesson plans and curricula in high school classrooms.  

Work ready / college ready
American high school graduates are required to possess the skills and knowledge to be employable in today’s global knowledge-based economy.  The Education Commission of the State (2005) suggests that students need at least two years of postsecondary education to be successful in today’s workforce.  Hence, for high school graduates, there is little difference between being ready for work and college ready.  In the 21st century, being college ready is essential for all high school students preparing for future work in the “knowledge economy”. 

The English and science college readiness project is an ongoing collaborative effort involving K-12 and higher education stakeholders that is intended to:

  • define what students must know and be able to do to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college coursework;
  • align requirements for college success with the learning outcomes emphasized in K-12 reform;
  • be relevant to today’s technology-driven workplace, which increasingly requires students to have education beyond high school and higher-level skills.

Transition Math Project
The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and its partners have developed college readiness standards in mathematics.