Indicators of College Readiness: A Comparison of High School and College Measures

This report considers the meaning of college readiness from both the district and college perspective. In the past decade, numerous actors in educational research, policy, and practice have converged upon a seemingly practical definition of college readiness that hinges upon a student’s lack of need for postsecondary remedial education. For good or for bad, this conception has become the de facto working definition of college readiness. BERC examined local Baltimore colleges’ assessment of remediation need and high school performance for the Baltimore City graduating Class of 2011. We focus on the four local institutions Baltimore City graduates attend: the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Baltimore City Community College (BCCC), Morgan State University and Coppin State University.Many students entered high school not proficient in math and English, and as a result, struggle during the transition. More than one-third failed at least one academic course during ninth grade with two-thirds failed at least one during high school. The end result is an average weighted GPA of 1.8; a GPA below the requirements for admission to most 4-year colleges and many scholarships.Each of the four colleges has different policies on assessing for developmental need and cut scores. As a result, comparison between schools is not possible. In fact students enrolled at Coppin needed an SAT of 470 to be exempted from testing while students enrolled in CCBC and BCCC needed scores of 550. In contrast, Morgan State sets cut-points  dependent on a student’s major.For more detail, please read the complete report.