Developing a State-Level Plan to Improve Postsecondary Transitions

Through a generous grant from the Joyce Foundation, Education Strategy Group (ESG) is supporting the state of Indiana to close the gap between high school and postsecondary institutions and set significantly more students up to attain a postsecondary credential with value in the labor market.

A Two-Phase Approach in Indiana

ESG took a two-phased approach to bring Indiana’s vision for student success to fruition. In the first phase, ESG helped organize and facilitate a Postsecondary Transitions Steering Committee, comprised of system leaders, institutional leadership, administrators, and policymakers. The Committee was responsible for developing a joint K-12 and higher education action plan that identifies ways for the systems can broaden and deepen their partnership efforts to get more students to and through college. In the second phase, ESG helped the state put its agenda into action through the design of a 12th grade mathematics transition course that is intended to catch students up academically so that they can bypass remedial education upon matriculation at a postsecondary institution. ESG facilitated meetings of K-12 educators and higher education faculty to define student expectations for the course, select appropriate curricula and assessments, and recommend professional development. In 2019, ESG will continue to support the state as it moves to implementation of a pilot of the transitions course.

State Recommendations

The Postsecondary Transitions Steering Committee arrived at a set of recommendations to improve postsecondary transitions in Indiana in the following areas:

  1. Develop and scale postsecondary transition pathways, beginning with mathematics.
  2. Promote navigational supports that smooth student transitions from secondary to postsecondary education and training, including but not limited to activities currently required for the 21st Century Scholars.
  3. Expand the use of key postsecondary transitions data to facilitate cross-sector collaboration and support student success.

In November 2018, the Commission for Higher Education unanimously approved a resolution supporting the recommendations. In December 2018, the State Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution supporting the recommendations.

Full Steering Committee Recommendations

SBOE Resolution

CHE Resolution

Superintendent McCormick and Commissioner Lubbers Op-Ed