highered-imageHigh, consistent standards are being implemented in states across the country to ensure that students are prepared for life after high school – whether they pursue higher education, a career, or service in the military. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 50 percent of first-year students at two- year colleges and 20 percent of first-year students at four-year schools require remedial courses. These are courses that cost students money (for no credit, mind you) to teach them material that they should have received in high school.

Just over half of students who start a four-year bachelor’s degree program full time actually finish in six years. Less than three out of ten students who start at community colleges full-time finish in three years. And we know that for those students who must take remedial courses their likelihood of completing their postsecondary education drops dramatically. To ensure that all students can succeed, college- and career-ready standards are critical to improving student success.


Higher Ed for Higher Standards is a growing coalition of college presidents, trustees, chancellors, and state system leaders committed to the implementation of college- and career-ready standards. We are a project of the Collaborative for Student Success, a grant-making initiative created with the pooled resources of a diverse group of regional and national education foundations committed to improving public education.

Seizing the Moment

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and Higher Ed for Higher Standards released Seizing the Moment: Community Colleges Collaborating with K-12 to Improve Student Success. The full report calls for action in three areas:

  • Precollege interventions to help students speed up and catch up;
  • Streamlined postsecondary placement practices to smooth student transitions; and
  • Redesigned freshman-year experiences to meet student needs.

See the press release and coverage from Politico and Inside Higher Ed.

Proficient Means Prepared

Higher Ed for Higher Standards launched the Proficient Means Prepared campaign to build public understanding and support for college- and career-ready standards and assessments during the score release in the summer of 2015 into the fall. Using the Proficient Means Prepared toolkit, higher ed leaders in more than 10 states reiterated support for higher standards during the score release. View the toolkit here.

In the News:


Learn more about the crucial role of higher education and business in developing the standards