Align the Paradigm

by Matthew Linick / Sep 2, 2012

President Obama has stated a goal that the U.S. should once again have the highest college attainment rate in the world and “the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world” by 2020. One OCCRL program that we hope will help meet that goal is the Illinois College and Career Readiness Act Evaluation.

In 2007 the state of Illinois passed the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Act, Public Act 095-0694, to fund pilot projects consisting of a community college and partner high schools and support the alignment of K-12 curriculum with college level coursework. This project seeks to evaluate the state’s attempt to align high school and college curriculum and enhance students’ academic preparation and readiness to transition to college. Results have implications for policy and practice at the high school, college, and state policy levels.

Our evaluation of this program is finishing its fifth year, and we have had the opportunity to work with community colleges and high schools as they work to promote the readiness of their students. Some of the most common activities engaged by the CCR sites are alignment activities that work to improve the transition from high school to college by improving the alignment between the institutions.

What alignment activities do you think will help community colleges and high schools get on the same page? What are the benefits of improving alignment? How are these sorts of partnerships grown?