High School, College Professors Disagree on Student Preparedness

By Catherine Groux
Posted April 22, 2013 11:00 AM

Many college professors feel students are unprepared for postsecondary courses.
Many college professors feel students are unprepared for postsecondary courses.

In recent years, many experts have highlighted student preparedness as a factor in the nation's unimpressive college graduation rate. However, according to the newly released ACT National Curriculum Survey®, high school teachers and college professors do not see eye to eye on this topic.

Today, more than three times as many high school teachers as college professors believe students are prepared to succeed in postsecondary courses. While 89% of high school teachers said they consider their students to be either "well" or "very well" prepared for college coursework, only 26% of postsecondary instructors said they feel their incoming students are either "well" or "very well" prepared for their freshman-year classes.

"When high school teachers believe their students are well prepared for college-level courses, but colleges disagree, we have a problem," Jon Erickson, ACT's president of education, said in a statement. "If we are to improve the college and career readiness of our nation's high school graduates, we must make sure that our standards are aligned between high school and college."

To ameliorate this problem, which has been reflected in ACT surveys for at least four years, ACT officials stated that K-12 teachers must be better educated on exactly what students need to know in college. This would involve more curricular collaboration between colleges and secondary schools.

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