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College Readiness

Attaining a high school diploma or GED® credential does not ensure a student is ready for college-level coursework. The Council’s work in college readiness develops the curriculum, policies and support systems to increase student preparedness and success.

Why Kentucky needs improvement

About one in three Kentucky high school graduates is not ready for college-level work in three crucial subjects: reading, writing and mathematics. This requires the student to take remedial courses, which may not earn college credit. The majority of these students do not complete their college degrees, due to either the increased time-to-degree or lack of content knowledge needed for progression. This is costly to students, families, institutions and taxpayers, and poses a challenge to increasing Kentucky’s education attainment levels.

How the Council helps improve college readiness programming

The Council works alongside the Kentucky Department of Education and the Education Profession Standards Board to tackle the college readiness issue from all fronts: through middle and high school preparation and advising programs, college support services and teacher preparation programs.

In addition to student preparation efforts, the Council also works with postsecondary institutions in offering dual credit, advanced placement and international baccalaureate programs. These programs offer high school students the ability to earn college credit while completing high school coursework at an accelerated rate. These programs help instill college-going cultures in schools, increasing the chance that prepared high school graduates go on to pursue degrees and credentials.

How college readiness benefits Kentuckians

Students who do not graduate are more likely to leave school with tuition debt that is difficult to pay off, especially if having no degree prevents them from certain careers. Being college ready not only increases the chances of on-time graduation at less cost, but increases the chance a graduate can pay off debt quicker once employed in a higher wage job.

In addition, graduating high school college-ready means being career-ready, for those who choose not to pursue a degree. If a student is assessed “college ready,” they have developed the critical thinking skills associated with reading, writing and math that are not only needed for college-level work, but also are the fundamental crosscutting skills employers value.

How college readiness helps us toward 2025 goals

College preparation is an effective way to increase the percentage of students who participate in postsecondary education, especially among low-income and traditionally underserved populations. Students who participate in preparation activities and programming while in high school are much more likely to stay in and complete college credentials and degrees, creating a stronger economy for all Kentucky citizens.


Learn more about Kentucky's education goals by viewing Stronger By Degrees, the Council's strategic agenda for postsecondary and adult education.

Last Updated 1/30/2017