College & Career Readiness
To prepare Virginia’s students for postsecondary education or to meet employers’ expectations of candidates for entry-level jobs, VDOE is looking for ways to increase students’ readiness for the future.
In Executive Order Number 9, Governor Robert F. McDonnell called for an increase of 100,000 additional associate and bachelor's degrees in the next 15 years.
In January 2007, the Board of Education authorized VDOE to conduct studies to determine factors contributing to success in postsecondary education. As part of that effort, VDOE requested Achieve, the American Diploma Project (ADP), the College Board and ACT to conduct studies comparing their respective standards for postsecondary readiness to the Virginia Standards of Learning in English and Mathematics. In 2009 the Virginia Board of Education adopted revised Standards of Learning in mathematics and in 2010 in English. The revised standards reflect the substantial input and recommended changes provided by college faculty and other experts from the College Board, ACT, the American Diploma Project and the business community. These groups support Virginia’s revisions and have validated the standards as college and career ready. See the Virginia College and Career Readiness Initiative (PDF) briefing document for more information.
The Virginia College and Career Readiness Initiative is designed to:
- Ensure that college and career-ready learning standards in reading, writing and mathematics are taught in every Virginia high school classroom.
- Strengthen students' preparation for college and the work force before leaving high school.
Through the work in the initiative, Virginia is in the process of:
- Defining college and career ready performance expectations aligned to national and international college and career ready standards.
- Developing elective "capstone courses" to support students who need additional instruction to meet college and career ready performance expectations before leaving high school.
- Providing technical assistance and professional development to Virginia’s educators to support implementation of the revised English and mathematics standards and the college and career ready performance expectations.
- Aligning the state assessments to measure student mastery of the more rigorous mathematics and English standards adopted in 2009 and 2010. Certain high school end of- course tests will include quantitative indicators of whether students have met or exceeded the achievement levels needed to be successful in introductory mathematics and English courses in college.
- Identifying accountability measures and incentives for schools to increase the percentage of students who graduate high school having demonstrated the academic and career skills needed to be successful in postsecondary education programs.
VDOE, the State Council of Higher Education and the Virginia Community College System have approved an agreement on the performance expectations in English and mathematics high school graduates must meet to be successful in freshman-level college courses or career training.
The agreement signifies the endorsement by all three agencies of specific English and mathematics achievement and performance levels developed by VDOE at the direction of the Board of Education and in collaboration with high school educators, college and university faculty and the business community.
- Joint Agreement on Virginia's College and Career Ready Mathematics and English Performance Expectations (PDF)
Performance Expectations define the level of achievement students must reach to be academically prepared for success in entry-level credit-bearing college courses. The expectations were developed through a process that involved faculty from Virginia's two- and four-year colleges and universities, members of the business community and high school educators. You may also be interested in: Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) & Common Core Standards
- College & Career Ready Performance Expectations (PDF)
- Grade 12 Capstone Course Content (PDF)
- English Capstone Course Information
- Correlation of Virginia’s English Performance Expectations with Virginia’s 2010 English Standards of Learning (PDF)
- Comparison between Virginia’s College and Career Ready English Performance Expectations and the Common Core Anchor Standards (PDF)
- College & Career Ready Performance Expectations (PDF)
- Mathematics Capstone Course Information
- Correlation of Virginia’s Mathematics Performance Expectations with Virginia’s 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning (PDF)
- Comparison of Virginia’s College and Career Ready Mathematics Performance Expectations with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (PDF)
- Beyond the Rhetoric – Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy (PDF) June 2010 – Southern Regional Education Board Policy Brief
- Virginia College and Career Readiness Initiative (PDF) Sept., 2010 – document describing the initiative and information on research related to the initiative.
- Report to the Virginia Board of Education on Virginia’s College and Career Readiness Initiative (PDF) Nov. 18, 2010 – presentation by Dr. Deborah Jonas. Also see complete set of materials in the board meeting agenda.
- Early College Scholars Program allows eligible high school students to earn at least 15 hours of transferable college credit while completing the requirements for an Advanced Studies Diploma.
- High School Graduates Postsecondary Enrollment – this report documents numbers and percentages of high school graduates enrolled in postsecondary institutions nationwide. These reports provide the best available estimates and are based on data VDOE obtained from the National Student Clearinghouse.
- High School Graduates Postsecondary Achievement – this report documents numbers and percentages of high school graduates who enrolled in a public Institution of Higher Education (IHE) in Virginia and earned one-year of college credit within two years of enrolling in a Virginia public IHE. These reports provide the best available estimates and are based on state data linked between the Virginia Department of Education and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
- High School Predictors of College Readiness: Determinants of High School Graduates’ Enrollment and Successful Completion of First-Year Mathematics and English College Courses in Virginia (PDF)
Jonas, D., Dougherty, C., Herrera, A.W., LaTurner, J., Garland, M., and Ware A. (2012).
- High School Predictors of College Readiness: Determinants of Developmental Course Enrollment and Second-Year Postsecondary Persistence in Virginia (PDF) – Garland, M., LaTurner, J., Herrera, A. W., Ware, A., Jonas, D., and Dougherty, C. (2011).
- The Role of Data in the Virginia College Readiness Initiative (PPT) – presented at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Annual MIS Conference 2011 by Deborah Jonas, Virginia Department of Education; Marshall Garland and Anne Ware, The University of Texas at Dallas; Chrys Dougherty, National Center for Educational Achievement. More information about the presentation can be found at the conference website.
- High school factors associated with postsecondary enrollment in Virginia (PDF) – report from the Center for Assessment, Evaluation and Educational Programming (CAEEP), Virginia Tech School of Education
- An Initial View of VCCS Student Success in the Workforce - Using UI Wage Data to Examine Rates of Employment and Wages (PDF) – Virginia Community College System.
- What Is College- and Career- Ready? (PDF) – Achieve, a non-profit education reform organization that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments and strengthen accountability.
- Preparing Students for College: Help your students take the next step in their education – The College Board
- The College Completion Agenda -- 2010 Progress Report Executive Summary (PDF) – The College Board
- Mind the Gaps: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success – ACT
- National High School Center – based at the American Institutes for Research
- The Virginia Education Wizard can help you choose a career, get the information you need to pursue your career, find the college that is right for you, pay for college, transfer from a community college to a university, and get answers to your questions about your future.