ACT: 9% of first-gen students are college-ready

Only 9 percent of first-generation college students are prepared to pass college-level courses in all subjects, reports ACT. Half didn’t meet the college readiness benchmark in any subject.

California Latinos are graduating from high school and enrolling in college in record numbers, but graduation rates remain low. Most start at community colleges and do not complete a credential or transfer.

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  1. We hear a lot about independent pre-assessments of “college readiness”, but why don’t we just use *actual college success rates*? So, for example, what fraction of first-gen college students *actually pass* various college courses?

    It’s not clear to me what value these sorts of reports add.

  2. Thinly Veiled Anonymity says:

    Regardless of whether the students are ready or not, or whether they succeed or not, many professors are under tremendous pressure to pass them anyway. Grade inflation is a thing.

    Actual college success rates, then, may not be as accurate for measuring what it is we want to measure.

    • Isn’t what we claim to want to be measuring here “preparedness to succeed in college”? Their success in college seems perfectly adequate as a measure of that.

      Now, it may be that *college is too easy* or these students *don’t get much out of college* or whatever, but those are separate (if related) questions and in any case they can also be directly measured so these somewhat-arbitrary pre-assessments still wouldn’t add any value.

  3. Given that Grade Inflation, self-esteem, and memorizing facts for tests have actually replaced learning, it’s not a surprise that only 9% of first generation hispanic students are actually college ready.

    A college ready student in the early 1980’s would have
    been able to enroll in and pass the following courses
    in the first and second semester:

    English 101/102 (6 credit hours)
    Biology (General/Animal or Plant) or
    General Chemistry I/II or
    Geology/Astronomy (8 credit hours)
    Precalculus I/II (5 or 6 credit hours)
    Sociology/Psychology (3 credit hours)
    Political Science or U.S. History (4 credit hours)

    Given that 80% of all students at community colleges
    require remediation for courses which are in no way
    ‘college level’, I’d imagine that the 91% who aren’t ready
    and get admitted won’t be there by the end of the first year.

    This is the problem with higher education, we keep lowering standards, and admitting students who actually have NO business being there, and they run up a PILE of debt which
    cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy, and they wind up with NOTHING to show for it.