All high school graduates are not equally prepared for postsecondary education.
This finding is especially true for graduates from historically marginalized communities. To prepare these graduates for success in a two- and four-year college environment, postsecondary institutions provide noncredit developmental education courses. These courses are designed to improve the reading, writing, and math skills of first-year college students unprepared for college-level courses. Consequently, high school graduates that might otherwise be unable to attain a higher education can take developmental education courses to better prepare them for college-level course work.
Who needs developmental education courses? And why?
In general, high school graduates across the state and region are enrolling in fewer developmental education courses. However, our local graduates are 52% more likely than the state average to take developmental education courses when entering a two- or four-year college.
Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino graduates attending college are twice as likely to enroll in developmental education courses compared to their white, Asian, and multiracial peers. High school graduates who identify as male are 36% more likely than their female counterparts to enroll in developmental education courses.
The need for these courses could be due to barriers faced within the household or at the individual level. Systemic racism perpetuated by under-resourced schools and neighborhoods also leads to differing levels of readiness.
What actions can be taken to support college-bound kids?
While on-time high school graduation rates are on the rise and gaps in the graduation rates are closing, not all students arrive at college prepared for their postsecondary education. This summer, the Cradle 2 Career High School Network will be developing an action-oriented strategy focused on preparing high school graduates for their next steps.