State leaders have a key role to play in helping ensure that students thrive in college, and they can do so by advocating policies in four areas, according to a policy brief by the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices.
The brief urges governors to push for greater academic rigor, with appropriate supports, in high school, as well as tests that are designed well enough to tell students whether they are prepared for college-level work. Integrating career and technical education with academics in a path that leads to a two-year college or certification should be pursued as well, it says.
Governors should promote adoption of support mechanisms that are designed to provide students with information about applying to college, and succeeding once they are there, the brief advises.
State leaders should also press, it says, for policy changes that make it simpler for students to transfer from two-year to four-year colleges, such as securing agreements by state higher education institutions about which credits transfer.
Another area in which governors can improve the college-readiness landscape is by experimenting with a funding approach that rewards colleges not only for enrolling students, but also for helping more of them earn degrees, the NGA brief says.
A version of this article appeared in the December 16, 2009 edition of Education Week as College Success