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Common Core increases college readiness

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 05, 2015 11:39 AM

The transition from high school to college is a scary and exciting moment in a student's life. Young adults have to face new challenges and responsibilities as they move away from home and become more autonomous. Adjusting to this different stage in life can be stressful as students deal with homesickness, stress and other factors. One problem the Common Core State Standards hopes to solve is the issue of college preparedness. Often, students start attending classes in college and become overwhelmed by the amount of work and the challenging assignments. A student's struggle to perform complex tasks plus the other pressures of college can lead to discouragement and, in some cases, drop out.

According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, the Standards help prepare kids for college by setting more challenging goals and achievement expectations for each primary and secondary grade level. The requirements were developed to ensure that children across the country were receiving equal educations and also to compete with international competencies. Previously, states across the U.S. supported varying standards for students to reach, which resulted in some kids receiving more rigorous learning programs. The implementation of the Common Core was meant to close this achievement gap.

Benefits of the CCSS
So far, the CCSS has been adopted by 43 states and the District of Columbia, CCSSI notes. These Standards ensure that students are prepared for college and career expectations after high school. This is particularly beneficial to low-income and first-generation college students who have frequently fallen behind peers on college-readiness tests. According to a report by ACT, of the first-generation students who were ACT-tested in 2014, only 9 percent met all four of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. This percentage was not much higher for low-income students, either, at 11 percent.

Common Core goals will help these and other students reach college readiness benchmarks. Once students have been accepted into a higher education facility, the rewards of the more rigorous standards will become even more apparent. U.S. News notes that more challenging curricula and practices increase students' likelihood of succeeding in college. This is because they will be prepared for the difficult comprehension expectations and the quick turn around for assignments.

Clearly understanding what college demands is advantageous for all students. During the transition into college, students will undoubtedly stress out about part-time jobs and social activities, but with Common Core, they will be less likely to struggle with academics. Feeling secure in collegiate achievement will give students the confidence they need to successfully complete their higher education careers.