The Role of Higher Education in Common Core Implementation

The successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) represents a landmark opportunity for collaboration between the higher education and K-12 sectors. Delivering on the promise of college-ready standards means students are prepared for entry-level, credit-bearing college work, and that K-12 schools and higher education institutions are more aligned on the education they deliver.

Ten states have been awarded Core to College grants to enhance that critical collaboration and to develop strategies that can be replicated elsewhere. Across the three year grant timeline, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington are undertaking aggressive collaboration and implementation initiatives led by an alignment director tasked with broadly communicating about the importance of the Common Core to higher education stakeholders statewide. The early accomplishments of these states will serve as valuable proof points as 46 states nationwide seek to implement the Common Core and as two national assessment consortia roll out college-ready assessments aligned to the new standards by 2014-15.

This summer, alignment directors gathered for their first convening to discuss successful strategies and common challenges around faculty engagement in this work. The outcome of their discussions, early learning from their work, and some likely next steps for these states and the network are captured in a new report, “Making Good on the College Ready Promise.”

These efforts are, in many cases, breaking new ground, and creating deeper relationships between the K-12 and higher education sectors than have previously existed. By documenting the lessons learned in these states, the group will be able to inform the work in other states, paving the way for more successful implementation and collaboration nationwide.

To read the full report, see “Making Good on the College Ready Promise.”