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Ways to Achieve College and Career Readiness with New Kentucky Graduation Requirements

Ways to Achieve College and Career Readiness with New Kentucky Graduation Requirements

Across the state of Kentucky, 90 percent of high school students are graduating on time, but only 60 percent of these students are actually considered college or career ready, the Courier-Journal reported. To address this, a high school graduation requirement change was proposed wherein students  need to complete 500 hours of experience in a single career field during high school to demonstrate transition readiness. In addition to the hours of experience, students would need to demonstrate professional achievement and growth and show skill development to ensure that the experience was meaningful.

Public Feedback to Proposed Changes to Graduation Requirements

While requiring students to complete hundreds of hours of career experience sounds extremely beneficial to students’ professional development, some districts were concerned about implementation issues that might arise if such a requirement were to be approved. In particular, underfunded districts were concerned about potentially needing more funding to accommodate these requirements. Other concerns involved students from low-income households (who are already considered at-risk) not having the equitable resources to meet these new requirements.

In early December of last year, the Kentucky Board of Education approved changes to the proposed minimum high school graduation, which were then scaled back from the original proposal upon public feedback regarding funding disparities. The changes have now gone to the Kentucky General Assembly for review. An overview of the minimum high school graduation requirements can be found on the Kentucky Department of Education website, which contains the addition of graduation qualifiers and graduation prerequisite options that students are able to choose from to demonstrate transition readiness before receiving a Kentucky high school diploma.

Transition Readiness

Transition readiness refers to whether a student is ready for the next stage after high school, whether that next stage involves college, joining the workforce, or a mixture of both. Let’s discuss several general indicators that let Kentucky educators know that their students are demonstrating transition readiness into college and careers.

Academic Readiness: Students are said to demonstrate academic readiness when there is evidence that they are prepared to successfully attend college upon graduation.

Examples of college-readiness indicators in students include:

  • Participation in college-level coursework (Advanced Placement®, International Baccalaureate®, honors courses, dual credit courses)
  • High test scores (ACT® test, SAT® exam, high school exit tests, benchmark tests)
  • High grade point average (GPA)
  • Successful completion of an internship program
  • Ability to demonstrate and apply academic knowledge and skills

Career Readiness: Students are said to demonstrate career readiness when there is evidence that they are prepared to successfully join the workforce upon graduation. 

Examples of career-readiness indicators in students include:

  • Participation in career-exploration courses associated with the 16 Career Clusters®
  • Engagement in developing a career plan with school mentors
  • Successful participation in certification-preparation courses
  • Completing a state-approved apprenticeship

Three Ways Online Courses Can Help

A cost-effective way to help Kentucky students meet graduation requirements in a timely fashion is utilizing online courses. Here are three ways Courseware’s online courses can help:

  1. CTE Offerings: Edmentum offers over 100 semester-long CTE courses—available with or without virtual state-certified teachers—across all 16 nationally recognized Career Clusters®, along with rigorous core-content courses. Take a look at our complete course catalog to view all course options available.

  1. College and Career Readiness: Identify a path to success with our college and career readiness library by preparing students for exams including the ACT®, SAT®, ACCUPLACER®, GED®, HiSET® tests. As an example, our preparation courses for the ACT® and SAT® exams offer a start-to-finish curriculum option to deliver a powerful preparation program for students so that they can feel confident when taking college entrance exams.
  2. Advanced Placement Exam Prep: Provide preparation for Advanced Placement exams with over a dozen options, including biology, calculus, English literature, and Spanish! As an example, 25 percent of the lessons in our advanced biology course use student-driven, constructivist approaches for concept development. The remaining lessons employ direct-instruction approaches. Both approaches incorporate multimedia-rich, interactive resources to make learning an engaging experience and help students achieve mastery of abstract concepts, along with their practical applications in STEM-related professions.

Interested in learning how other districts have successfully implemented Courseware? Take a look at our Courseware success stories!