Resource: Ensuring Equitable Postsecondary Transitions: A Policy Benchmarking Tool for State Leaders
The highest-leverage actions for states to close equity gaps in students’ postsecondary preparation, access, and success.
In the new economic reality, a high school diploma is not enough for long-term economic mobility and success. All youth need some education or training beyond high school to engage in careers that pay well and provide opportunities for advancement. Yet each year, an estimated one million students do not make the transition from high school to postsecondary education.
For low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students, the odds are even lower. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges that students—particularly those from traditionally underserved communities—face in navigating this transition. Now more than ever, these students need tailored support to navigate the maze between K-12 and higher education.
This resource lays out the highest-leverage actions that states can take to close equity gaps in students’ postsecondary preparation, access, and success. It is organized around five key themes:
- Establishing common expectations between K-12 and postsecondary
- Aligning postsecondary transitions data across sectors
- Facilitating seamless transitions
- Connecting education to the workforce
- Extending navigational supports
Each theme includes a set of targeted strategies along with accompanying foundational and advanced policy actions that will improve transitions for low-income students, students of color, and first-generation college-going students.
This tool is intended to help state education leaders benchmark their current policies, programs, and initiatives against the recommended strategies and learn what each strategy looks like in action in order to support more equitable postsecondary transitions.