Promoting Alignment through Higher Ed for Higher Standards Coalition

Higher Ed for Higher Standards (HEHS), a project of Education Strategy Group, launched in June 2014 as a coalition of college presidents, trustees, chancellors, and state system leaders committed to aligning expectations for students in K-12 schools with the demands they will face in college. Colleges and universities have a vested interest in the success of K-12 students, as increased preparation will help lower remediation rates and improve completion rates. The goal of the coalition is to promote strong partnerships between K-12 and postsecondary institutions and aligned policies that increase college-going and success.

A diverse coalition committed to action

The coalition currently includes more than 400 leaders of two- and four-year institutions from 46 states and the District of Columbia, as well as prominent national higher education organizations including American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, Association of Community College Trustees, Complete College America, National Association of System Heads, and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

An Advisory Council guides the work of the Higher Ed for Higher Standards coalition. The Council is comprised of a leading group of transformational higher education leaders who demonstrate a strong commitment to student success by supporting more aligned expectations and strong partnerships with K-12 to help expand college access and readiness.

Helping leaders support student success

Through this coalition, ESG and its partners have helped to mobilize influential K-12 and higher education leaders to support an alignment framework and developed a variety of resources to highlight best practices for cross-sector alignment in support of increased student success. For example:

  • Aligning Expectations: Partnering with K-12 to Ensure College Readiness: A framework, through an ongoing partnership with the National Association of System Heads (NASH) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), that provides higher education leaders a set of tools to help navigate potential state scenarios to revise college ready standards and assessment systems.
  • Seizing the Moment: Community Colleges Collaborating with K-12 to Improve Student Success: A guide for community college leaders, developed in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), that promotes successful models of collaboration with K–12 schools to align expectations and promote college readiness for all students.
  • Proficient Means Prepared Campaign: A communications toolkit in partnership with higher education organizations that suggest activities, sample messages, and case studies of higher education leadership in action to support outreach efforts and ongoing alignment work.
  • Leveraging ESSA: A set of recommendations, in partnership with SHEEO, NASH, and the Council of Chief State School Officers, for states to take advantage of the Every Student Succeeds Act to deepen and catalyze the partnerships between their K–12 and higher education systems in support of increasing the number of youth successfully transitioning to postsecondary.

For more information and to get involved, visit Higher Ed for Higher Standards.