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Reports & Research

Updated: January 2, 2009


EdSource releases

From High School to Community College:
Same Students, Different Goals

A growing number of high school graduates are enrolling in California's community colleges.  However, there is a gap between the objectives and assessment tools used at either level to advance the education of their students.  The readiness for college-level work in English language arts and mathematics of both high school students and community college students is the focus of a new report by EdSource, High School to Community College:  New Efforts to Build Shared Expectations, published in November.

While many high school students graduate with varying levels of academic preparedness, the emphasis of tests like the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) assesses the minimum academic skills required for a high school diploma, and does not test for college-level readiness.

Additionally, many community colleges serve the varying needs of their individual communities, such as technical training, English as a second language learners, skills enhancement, or preparing for transfer to four-year universities.

The open access format of California Community Colleges does not filter incoming students into these various programs, or make clear what skills will be necessary to attend university.  As a result, the report asserts, many students are not truly ready to enter into the UC or CSU systems.

The report makes several recommendations, including the implementation of several best practices paradigms such as making orientation at community colleges mandatory, ensuring that students complete basic skills training early, and implementing various instructional methods.  High schools can also look at testing for basic skills earlier rather than later so that any issues that arise can be addressed immediately.

To read the entire report, please go to EdSource's website: