Postsecondary and PARCC

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The postsecondary education community is playing a critical role in ensuring the long-term success of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and PARCC college- and career-ready assessments


PARCC is coordinating with postsecondary leaders in each state to prepare their higher education systems for the development and deployment of the PARCC college- and career-ready high school assessments and the supports and interventions that will accompany them.

Benefits of PARCC for Postsecondary Education: With over a third of all students requiring remedial education upon enrollment in our nation’s public two- and four-year institutions of higher education (IHE’s), it is clear there is a disconnect between the knowledge and skills students have when they graduate from high school and what they need for success in credit-bearing college courses. The PARCC system will eliminate this disconnect by better preparing students in high school, and measuring whether students are on track to graduate ready for college and careers. Students who do not meet readiness/proficiency benchmarks will receive supports and interventions to address their readiness gaps, well before they enter their first year of college.

In all, 640 colleges and universities have committed to participate in PARCC. These colleges and universities, including many flagship universities and most of the largest state systems, have pledged to participate in the development of the new college-ready assessments in mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy and have signed on to ultimately use these tests as college placement tools.

Participation in the Design Process: Postsecondary faculty from mathematics, English, composition, and other relevant disciplines are working with their K-12 colleagues to design and develop PARCC’s high school assessments. They have and will continue review the CCSS to determine what it means to be ready for courses in their institutions, participate in scoring pilot items and field testing, develop scoring rubrics, choose anchor papers, and participate in a robust, research-based process to set the college- and career-ready achievement levels.

Participation in Leadership Cadres: Under the guidance of the Higher Education Leadership Team, PARCC is assembling postsecondary leadership cadres in each state to disseminate the message and benefits of common assessments and accompanying supports and interventions, as well as to address policy and practice issues critical to the success of the transition to common assessments in each state.

Representation at the National Level: PARCC has formed the Advisory Committee on College Readiness (ACCR) to ensure key postsecondary leaders from PARCC states, as well as nationally-recognized leaders in the higher education community, provide guidance to the PARCC consortium’s work in the development of college- and career-ready assessments and serve as ambassadors for PARCC with their postsecondary peers around the country.

Get Involved!

  • Contact the postsecondary lead in your state to find out how you can be involved in your state
  • Sign up for PARCC’s newsletter to stay in the loop on PARCC’s design and development activities and upcoming events
  • Contact your state’s postsecondary or higher education commission, professional association and/or system or institution of higher education to learn more about their efforts around Common Core State Standards and PARCC in your state

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