Today’s students are preparing to enter a globally competitive world requiring more skills and knowledge than ever before. In our own state, we have 25,000 unfilled jobs for highly skilled workers—and that number is projected to grow to 50,000 by 2017.
To ensure all students are ready for success and take advantage of these opportunities, Washington state established K-12 learning standards. Used for math and English language arts, Common Core State Standards are part of these learning standards. The Smarter Balanced Assessment system, administered in grades three through eight and in grade 11, aligns with these standards, and provides teachers with a way to measure student progress and make adjustments and interventions as necessary to ensure that students are on the path to success.
There are four score levels. Students who score a three or four are on target to be college- and career-ready by the end of 12th grade. Eleventh graders who score below a three will need extra support to be college-ready. In fact, they may have to take pre-college courses in college, which will cost them time and money.
That’s where Bridge to College transition courses come in.
Under the leadership of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Bridge to College transition courses have been collaboratively designed and developed by higher education faculty, high school teachers and curriculum specialists from colleges and school districts.
Bridge to College transition courses provide high school seniors who scored a two on the 11th grade Smarter Balanced Assessment another path toward success in college-level work in math and English language arts. Students who earn a B grade or above in Bridge to College courses will be considered college-ready and eligible to enroll in college level math and English at all participating Washington higher education institutions.