Not all high school graduates are ready for college coursework, however, this should not prevent the possibility of a college degree or credential. The Council works with Kentucky’s colleges and universities in improving the academic and advising support systems for underprepared students.
Why Kentucky needs improvement
One in 10 public university students does not meet a college-ready benchmark for English, math or reading. The numbers are even higher for KCTCS, at four in 10, who are not ready for college-level work in one of these subjects. Many of these students are unaware of their skill levels and enroll in college to pursue a degree. This lack of preparedness can cause students to struggle with the rigor of academic curriculum and often contributes to low completion and graduation rates.
Developmental education and corequisite programs in Kentucky’s colleges and universities assist underprepared students in attaining the competencies needed to succeed in college. These programs can include tutoring and mentoring, academic support and a variety of advising services, from personal to career.
How the Council helps improve readiness
In collaboration with faculty and campus leadership, the Council has implemented the Kentucky College Readiness Indicators. These benchmarks standardize assessment of a student being “college-ready.” Based on ACT and other placement exam scores, this new standardization helps guarantee a student is ready for credit-bearing coursework at any public college or university in Kentucky without additional preparation.
In addition, the Council works with campuses in improving the assessment of student readiness through monitoring the education outcomes of all students. This includes the piloting of corequisite programs. Corequisite education is offering the college-level course to underprepared students, but with additional academic support. For example, in a remedial model, a student must take multiple semesters of preparatory work before enrolling in English 101. However, in a corequisite model, the student would enroll in both the college-level English course and an academic support course in English during the same semester.
Corequisite support is a cost-effective way for using existing institutional resources to support improved college completion. Institutions participating in the pilot have seen their underprepared students succeed at the same rates, completing the course with a passing grade in one semester, as their college-ready peers.
How these programs benefit Kentuckians
Developmental and corequisite education at Kentucky’s colleges and universities not only includes remedial coursework, but also a myriad of academic and advising support systems and services to assist students. The Council’s work in this area helps campuses constantly assess the success of these programs, as well as help K-12 school districts improve the curriculum needed for all graduates to be “college ready.” This improves student success rates at both levels.
How these programs help us toward 2030 goals
College preparation is an effective way to increase not only the percentage of students who succeed in postsecondary education, but also to ensure students opting out of college are equipped with the skills needed for career. This statewide effort to improve readiness is pivotal in ensuring Kentucky’s future workforce is competitive in a global economy.
Learn more about Kentucky's education goals by viewing Stronger By Degrees, the Council's strategic agenda for postsecondary and adult education.