'Core to College' Initiative Comes to Indiana
Indiana one of 10 states awarded grant to align K-12 and postsecondary education systems to Common Core State Standards
Indiana’s college-readiness focus recently received a much-needed boost with a national grant award to implement “Core to College: Preparing Students for College Readiness and Success.” Under direction from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Core to College connects higher education institutions with K-12 schools to improve student achievement, graduation rates, and college- and career-readiness.
The program uses the Common Core State Standards and corresponding PARCC (the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments to develop a statewide definition of “college-readiness” through identifying students who are ready for credit-bearing courses from which to develop strategies for successfully transitioning more high school students to college.
Indiana—along with nine other states including Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington—will receive $200,000 annually from the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors over three years to implement the program.
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the state’s grant executor, contracted CELL who appointed Trish Wlodarczyk as the state Core to College Alignment Director. Wlodarczyk is responsible for coordinating efforts to align K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions to the Common Core State Standards and PARCC.
“This is an opportunity where we can really bring together higher education institutions and K-12 educators to talk about alignment, which is something we have never had funding to do,” said Wlodarczyk.
An April 12 convening will officially launch the Core to College initiative among stakeholders. The meeting will bring together university presidents, provosts, and select department heads from Indiana’s public and private higher education institutions. Leadership cadres of participants will work toward creating a statewide definition of college-readiness, look at the adoption of the common assessment for college placement decisions, and strategize ways to create greater academic alignment between K-12 and higher education.
“We often remind ourselves that the important education reforms taking place today are not designed simply to get more students to graduate from high school,” said Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers. “Indiana’s K-12 and higher education communities must embrace the shared responsibility of ensuring that our students have the knowledge and skills required to complete college and compete in the workplace.”
The Common Core State Standards, adopted in 45 states, provide a clear set of expectations for the knowledge and skills K-12 students need to achieve success in college and the workforce. Indiana began implementing the standards during the 2011-12 school year in preparation for the first PARCC assessment to be administered during the 2014 academic year.
The Core to College initiative not only will connect K-12 and higher education stakeholders, but also will coordinate college- and workforce-readiness efforts between the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Indiana Department of Education.
“To coordinate the alignment of core curriculum and assessments between Indiana high schools and colleges will be a huge undertaking, but it is critically important. CELL is prepared to lead this effort," said CELL Executive Director David Dresslar.
Core to College is funded nationally by Lumina Foundation, the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Published: April 2012