Connecting K-20<=>College<=>Career

The concept that connections between each segment of the U.S. education system must relate effectively to the others in order to optimize student success across the “educational pipeline.” In this conceptual model, strategic efforts to increase the effectiveness of systems for communication, instructional development, academic support, student transitions, and family involvement across K-20 are considered vital to improving student outcomes, teacher effectiveness, and the overall health of U.S. education.

Evidence Base for Connecting K-20:

Articles and Websites

Adelman, Cliff Degree Qualifications Profile. Indianapolis: Lumina Foundation for Education, 2011. The Degree Qualifications Profile is offered as a tool that proposes specific learning outcomes that benchmark the associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees earned in the U.S. A degree profile matrix addresses key areas of learning including specialized knowledge, broad, integrative knowledge, intellectual skills, applied learning, and civic learning.

Bailey, Thomas CCRC Assessment of Evidence Series. New York: Community College Research Center at Columbia Teachers College, 2011. The Working Papers in this series provide a review of the research literature to draw conclusions and provide evidence-based recommendations in eight major topic areas: developmental assessment & placement, developmental acceleration, developmental mathematics pedagogy, contextualization of basic skills instruction, online learning, non-academic support, institutional and program structure, and organizational improvement.

Barnett, Elisabeth. “Helping High School Students Succeed in College Classes.” New York: National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching at Columbia University Teachers College (2006). Provides a summary of research on characteristics, attitudes, skills, and activities of Middle College-Early College High School students who succeed in dual credit or college classes.

Conley, David et. al. Understanding University Success: a Report from Standards for Success.  Eugene: Center for Educational Policy Research at the University of Oregon, 2003. This report provides a comprehensive overview of knowledge and skills for university success in English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Second Languages, and the Arts. Research to develop the standards was sponsored by the Association of American Universities, and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Corbishley, Jeffery B. and Mary P. Truxaw. “Mathematical Readiness of Entering College Freshmen: An Exploration of Perceptions of Mathematics Faculty.” School Science and Mathematics 110.2 (2010): 71-85. Education Research Complete. EBSCO. Web.20 July 2011. This reports a of survey college mathematics faculty who perceive that average freshman students are generally not mathematically prepared, and that the skills and concepts rated as highly important—algebraic skills, reasoning, and generalization—were among those rated the lowest in terms of student competencies.

Handel, Stephen J. Improving Student Transfer from Community Colleges to Four-Year Institutions: the Perspective of Leaders from Baccalaureate-Granting Institutions. New York: The College Board, 2011. This report describes the views of twenty-one higher education leaders concerning ways to initiate or improve transfer at four-year colleges and universities. Involving faculty in building curricular connections between the two kinds of institutions is identified as an important strategy, and several programs are discussed including a dual admissions program at Syracuse University.

Jenkins, Davis, et. al. Field Guide for Improving Student Success. Indianapolis: Lumina Foundation for Education, 2009. This guide describes Achieving the Dream, a national initiative currently involving over 100 community colleges in 21 states. Dream Colleges use data to identify gaps in student achievement and drive a student-centered model of institutional improvement.

Latterell, Carmen, and Todd Frauenholtz. “Causes and Possible Solutions to the Mathematics College Readiness Problem.” Research and Teaching in Developmental Education 24.1 (2007): 8-16. Education Research Complete. EBSCO. Web. 20 July 2011. This article focuses on the transition from secondary to college mathematics, identifying six major hurdles and possible solutions.

Leskes, Andrea and Ross Miller (2006). Purposeful Pathways: Helping Students Achieve Key Learning Outcomes. Washington DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities. This publication describes how colleges and high schools can work together to design powerful and sequential learning—‘purposeful pathways’—for integrative learning, inquiry learning, global learning, and civic learning outcomes.

McPhail. Christine Johnson. The Completion Agenda: A Call to Action. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Colleges and Universities, April 2011. This document is a summary report from the November 2010 meeting of the AACC Commissions and Board of Directors which launched the AACC response to the college completion challenge. The report addresses commitment, accountability, completion toolkit and overcoming obstacles.

Nunley, Charlene, Behrs, T. and Manning, T. “Learning Outcomes Assessment in Community Colleges, Occasional Paper #10.”  Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), 2011. This paper addresses the various needs for learning outcomes assessment, various approaches & applications, challenges, and guidelines for implementation with a particular focus on community colleges. The report draws from recent surveys of community college institutional researchers and chief academic officers.

Pusser, Brian and John Levin. “Re-imagining Community Colleges in the 21st Century: a Student-Centered Approach to Higher Education,” 2009, . This report discusses the current landscape of community colleges, and recommends institutional, state and federal policies to facilitate student-centered transformational change in the following areas: training & credentialing, funding for college & financial aid for students, developmental education, transfer, infrastructure & technology, data collection, and common standards for assessment of student learning & institutional effectiveness.

Swanson, Mary Catherine “The AVID Classroom: a System of Academic and Social Supports for Low-Achieving Students”. 1993: EDRS. ED 368 832. The report discusses the origins and early replication of AVID-Advancement Via Individual Determination—a program that places previously low-achieving students in college prep classes. AVID classes emphasize the writing process, inquiry methods, and collaborative groups along with explicit instruction in ‘college knowledge,’ and social scaffolds supporting student placement.

2010 Leader Colleges. “Achieving the Dream Promising Practices.” Silver Spring: Achieving the Dream, 2010. This series of working papers is available on the following topics: broad engagement, curriculum and instruction, use of evidence, institutional improvement, equity, retention and support services, and developmental education.

Zelkowski, Jeremy. “Secondary Mathematics: Four Credits, Block Schedules, Continuous Enrollment: What Maximizes College Readiness?” The Mathematics Educator 20.1 (2010): 8-21. This research paper supports the notion that mathematics in secondary school should parallel English language arts in the continuous development of critical thinking skills through rigorous coursework during all four years of high school.


American Association of Community Colleges:  AACC is a national information resource & advocate for over 1,200 community colleges; MCC is a member. Extensive list of publications & resources by program area including: pedagogy, technology, workforce development, diversity, service-learning, sustainable development/green jobs, & voluntary accountability framework.

Community College Research Center:  CCRC at Columbia Teacher’s College conducts research on US community colleges. Research reports available on topics such as: developmental education, dual enrollment, transition to college, workforce development, data driven reform, & improving student outcomes.

Completion Matters: Completion Matters:  An online community focused on academic quality and student postsecondary success. Blog posts, resources, and events pertaining to the big picture of college completion are included. Resources nodes on the site aggregate & connect people, resources, & activities around a specific topic of relevance to the college completion community.