Information Brief 2013-43

ACT National Curriculum Survey®: High School and College Educators’ Perceptions of Student Readiness for College-Level Work

Percent of Educators Reporting that Their Students are “Well” or “Very Well” Prepared for College-Level Work in Their Content Area

YearHigh SchoolCollege
200991%26%
201289%26%

Note: Some data in this chart are from ACT National Curriculum Survey 2009.

The vast majority of the high school teachers ACT surveyed in the ACT National Curriculum Survey® reported that their students, after leaving their course, are “well” or “very well” prepared for college-level work in that content area.1 In contrast, only about one-fourth of the college instructors surveyed reported that their incoming students are well or very well prepared for first-year credit-bearing courses in their content area. The figure above, which gives the educators’ responses from both the 2009 and 2012 surveys, suggests that respondents’ opinions on this question changed very little in three years.

Interestingly (in results not shown in the figure), although the percentage of instructors of first-year college developmental (i.e., remedial) courses reporting that students left their courses well or very well prepared was nearly as high in 2012 as that of the high school teachers (87% versus 89%, respectively), 13% of college developmental instructors reported that their students were “poorly” or “very poorly” prepared for credit-bearing college coursework even after completing a developmental course.


1 ACT, Inc., ACT National Curriculum Survey 2012: Policy Implications on Preparing for Higher Standards (Iowa City, IA: Author, 2013). http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/NCS-PolicySummary2012.pdf.


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