State Initiatives to Improve High Schools - All State Profiles
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State Initiatives to Improve High Schools - All State Profiles

This database includes information on:

1. States that subsidize testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc.: Twenty states offer all students the opportunity to take a college readiness assessment at no cost. An additional state, Idaho, will subsidize student fees on college readiness assessments beginning with 11th graders in the 2010-2011 school year.

Why does it matter?

Alabama
State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Effective with the Class of 2013, the Alabama High School Diploma with Advanced Academic Endorsement is the default high school curriculum. Exit options are available to students only by parental request or IEP committee recommendation.
Sources Long term plans: ALA. ADMIN. CODE r. 290-3-1-02

Alaska
State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. Although technically not college entrance or college-readiness tests, the WorkKeys assessments in Applied Math, Reading for Information and Locating Information will be administered to all 11th graders, beginning in the 2009-2010 school year. In addition, 6th and 8th grade students will be given benchmark placement tests in Applied Math, Reading for Information and Locating Information using WIN courseware placement tests.
Sources Subsidized testing fees: ALASKA ADMIN. CODE tit. 4, § 06.715 and 06.717; Alaska Department of Education & Early Development "Career Ready" Web site

American Samoa

Arizona
State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
Initiatives to improve the senior year The early graduation scholarship program offers the lesser of up to $1,250 or the actual cost of postsecondary tuition, books and fees to students who graduate from high school at least one year early. Students who graduate from high school one semester early receive the lesser up to $1,000 or the actual cost of postsecondary tuition, books and fees. Students receive the lesser of up to $750 or the actual cost of tuition, books and fees their second year of college.
Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) The University Recruitment and Retention Program is directed towards economically disadvantaged, minority and underrepresented student populations for the purpose of expanding student enrollment. The program must include outreach efforts at the high school level.
Sources Senior year initiatives: ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 15-105
Outreach: ARIZ. REV. STAT. §§ 15-1639, 15-105

Arkansas
State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The department of education offers EXPLORE and PLAN to districts at no charge. All students in participating districts must take EXPLORE in grade 8 and PLAN in grade 10.
Initiatives to improve the senior year Legislation requires all students in grades 9-12 to schedule and attend a full school day (a minimum of 350 minutes of planned instructional time).
Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) The higher education coordinating board is required to work with public institutions of higher education (and private institutions that wish to participate) "to annually provide updated or additional information for the information packages provided to" 7th graders and their parents on postsecondary options in the state, "the courses required to attend colleges and universities, and the financial requirements and assistance available for students pursuing" postsecondary education. "Sessions to discuss postsecondary options" must be held each spring at every school with a 7th grade class.

The higher education coordinating board must annually compile information on "academic scholarships for freshmen entering institutions of higher education in the state" and "state-funded programs that provide opportunities for developing technical job skills and apprenticeships." Each public high school counselor must provide this information to students in the counselor's school.

Individual schools must "make special efforts to ensure that as many students and parents ... as possible are made aware of the opportunity to receive information, are urged to attend the counseling sessions, and" receive "the information packages. Businesses are requested to provide the opportunity for employees "to attend the counseling sessions and to cooperate with institutions of higher education in presenting at the work site small group and one-on-one counseling on courses that are required for postsecondary education and postsecondary options and financial requirements and assistance available for postsecondary education."
Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Students must currently complete six Carnegie units in a "career focus" established through guidance and counseling based on students' contemplated work aspirations.

Effective with the Class of 2010, all students must complete the "Smart Core" requirements unless parent/guardian waives student's participation, in which case the student will complete the common core requirements. The Smart Core requirements retain the 6-unit career focus.
State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts All high schools and higher education institutions in the state must use a uniform method of formatting transcripts, in order to transmit electronically to the department of higher education transcripts to process state financial aid applications. Any higher education institution that does not submit the electronic transcripts to the department of higher education is not eligible to receive state financial aid on behalf of students.
Sources Subsidized testing fees: 005 19 CARR 005(7.08)
Senior year initiatives: ARK. CODE ANN. § 6-18-211
Outreach: ARK. CODE ANN. §§ 6-5-403 and 6-5-404
Long term plans: 005 19 CARR 007(14.03)
E-transcript: ARK. CODE ANN. § 6-80-107

California
State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) The Community College Student Financial Aid Outreach Program was established to provide financial aid training to high school and community college counselors and advisors. The program provides specialized information on financial aid available to high school students planning on attending a community college and community college students who later plan to transfer to a four-year college or university. The program also includes student and family workshops that provide general information regarding financial aid and technical assistance in completing financial aid forms.

In addition, the Student Opportunity and Access Program, which is administered by the Student Aid Commission, is designed to aid projects that increase the accessibility of postsecondary opportunities for elementary and secondary school students who are low-income, first-generation college-goers, or from schools or regions with low college-eligibility or college participation rates. The projects that are assisted by the program should be designed primarily, in part, to:
  • Increase the availability of information on the existence of postsecondary schooling and work opportunities.
  • Raise the achievement levels of students to increase the number of high school graduates eligible to pursue postsecondary learning opportunities.

    Legislation requires school districts to provide annual written notification of specified information to parents of students in grades 9-12. Each such notification must include (1) A list of the current University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) Web sites that help students and their families learn about college admission requirements and that list high school courses approved by the UC and CSU systems to meet admission requirements; and (2) Information about how students may meet with school counselors to
    help them choose courses that will meet college admission requirements.
  • Sources Outreach: CAL. EDUC. CODE §§ 51229, 69514.5, 69561

    Colorado
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The ACT is required for all 11th graders and is paid for by the state.
    Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) Every local board and the state charter school institute board must provide the names and addresses of all 8th graders to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE), which in turn must contact the parents of all 8th grade students to provide information on postsecondary educational opportunities.

    The information provided includes: the commission's higher education admission guidelines, a student's potential need for remediation, any related financial obligations that may fall to the student's parent, that a student who fails a course listed in the admissions guidelines may enroll in a remedial course to satisfy those guidelines, the availability of information regarding financial assistance to attend a higher education institution (including stipend amounts, tuition and other financial aid), the annual state stipend amount (pursuant to § 23-18-202), the annual cost of in-state tuition, the amount of the student's share of tuition (pursuant to § 23-18-207) and notification that the stipend amount and the amount of tuition may change annually.
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: COLO. REV. STAT. § 22-7-409(1.5)
    Outreach: COLO. REV. STAT. §§ 22-30.5-516, 22-32-109(ff)-(gg), 23-1-119.1

    Connecticut
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans No; however, the state department's five-year education plan addresses a number of areas in need of reform. In addressing high school, the plan suggests that the board of education "require that all students have a personal education plan that includes career development, in- and out-of-school coursework and/or activities, and transition to postsecondary education and/or the workplace."
    Sources Long term plans: Connecticut State Department of Education, A Superior Education for Connecticut's 21st Century Learners: Five-Year Comprehensive Plan for Education 2006-2011 (see pg. 17)

    Delaware
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Every 8th grade student must develop an individualized education plan (called the Student Success Plan) with the student's advisor, one other school staff member and the student's parent(s). The plan must include:

  • Actively monitoring student progress, on an ongoing basis and, at a minimum, by the end of each marking period in those courses required for graduation.
  • Support services if a student is failing or in danger of failing courses required for graduation.
  • Annual updating of the Student Success plans by the student, the student's advisor, at least one other staff member and the student's parent(s) guardian(s) or relative caregiver and others as appropriate.

    In addition, all students must complete 3 units in a career pathway, defined as three "credits of pre-planned and sequential courses required for graduation designed to develop knowledge and skills in a particular career or academic area."
  • Sources Long term plans: 14 DEL. ADMIN. CODE § 505

    District of Columbia
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Effective with students entering grade 9 in the 2007-2008 school year (Class of 2011), students must, with the assistance and signed approval of the school counselor, develop a graduation plan setting forth the courses they will take during their high school career.
    Sources Long term plans: D.C. MUN. REGS. tit. 5, § 2203.1

    Florida
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. All districts must offer either the PSAT or PLAN to 10th graders. Students may be exempted from testing with the consent of their parents.
    Initiatives to improve the senior year Students may select a three-year high school graduation option with an academic or career preparatory focus, thus eliminating the senior year of high school. For both options, students must complete at least 18 specified Carnegie units and maintain a minimum grade point average as they progress toward diploma completion.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans State has standard 4-year diploma as well as 3-year standard college-preparatory program and 3-year career-preparatory program. Before a student may choose to participate in a 3-year program, designated school staff must meet with the student and student's parent "to give an explanation of the relative requirements, advantages, and disadvantages of each graduation option." The student must also submit a signed parental consent form to the high school principal and guidance counselor, and must have scored at least 3 on the most recent Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in reading, writing and math. "Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, each district school board shall provide each student in grades 6 through 9 and their parents with information concerning the 3-year and 4-year high school graduation options..., including the respective curriculum requirements for those options, so that the students and their parents may select the postsecondary education or career plan that best fits their needs. The information shall include a time frame for achieving each graduation option." Students must select one of the graduation options before the end of grade 9. If a student and parent fail to choose a graduation option, the student is considered to have chosen the standard 4-year diploma option.
    Eff. Class of 2010: Student not required to have earned at least 3 on reading, math and writing FCAT exams to select 3-year graduation option.

    Effective with the class of 2011, students must complete 4 units "in major area of interest, such as sequential courses in a career and technical program, fine and performing arts, or academic content area, selected by the student as part of the” student’s individual learning plan. "Students may revise major areas of interest each year as part of annual course registration processes and should update their education plan to reflect such revisions.” Local boards must annually “approve major areas of interest and submit the list of majors to the commissioner of education for approval. Each major area of interest shall be deemed approved unless specifically rejected by the commissioner within 60 days. Upon approval, each district's major areas of interest shall be available for use by all school districts and shall be posted on the department's Web site.”

    State also identifies a "minor area of interest" as 3 units chosen by the student as part of their individual learning plan and approved by the local board. Students may complete a minor area of interest in addition to the 4-unit major area of interest, or may complete 2 major areas of interest to fulfill the 8-unit major/minor/electives requirement.
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts The Florida Automated System for Transferring Educational Records (the "FASTER System") allows high schools and postsecondary institutions to exchange transcripts and other student records electronically. According to the department Web site, the system can be used to transfer three kinds of student records:

    • Interdistrict Records (and Bright Futures, High School Academic Evaluations, and Talented Twenty Records)
    • Secondary Transcripts (and Bright Futures, High School Academic Evaluations, and Talented Twenty Records)
    • Postsecondary Transcripts (and Teacher Certification, Dual Enrollment and Postsecondary Feedback)
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: FLA. STAT. ch. 1007.35(5)
    Senior year initiatives: FLA. STAT. ch. 1003.429
    Long term plans: FLA. STAT. ch. 1003.428, 1003.429
    E-Transcript: Florida Department of Education 2007-2008 Faster User Manual

    Georgia
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The PSAT is offered to all 10th graders. The state also offers free online SAT preparation courses, and some schools offer SAT preparation classes for credit.
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts Beginning May 2007, each school system and private school was required to adopt the reporting system described below for purposes of identifying and qualifying graduating seniors for the HOPE scholarship program and other programs. Each school system and private school is required to transmit an electronic transcript of courses and course grades for each graduating senior that reflects the complete high school academic record of the student, including scores on any state tests required for graduation, the grading scales used by the school system or private school for the time periods referenced by the transcripts, and any other information required by the Georgia Student Finance Commission.
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: GA. CODE ANN. § 20-2-146; Georgia Department of Education: Free SAT Prep for Public High School Students; Becky Chambers, Georgia Department of Education, Program Manager AP, PSAT, SAT & ACT Testing
    E-transcript: GA. CODE ANN. § 20-2-157

    Guam

    Hawaii
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The state offers the PSAT to all 10th graders.
    Initiatives to improve the ninth grade year The 2006-2010 P-20 strategic plan from the state's P-20 Council includes a recommendation to "ensure that ninth-grade students receive the instructional and support services necessary for successful completion of high school." The main components of the recommendation include utilizing smaller "learning communities," increasing access to tutoring and academic summer camps and creating a Web site to provide "one-stop" access to information about postsecondary institutions. 
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Effective with the Class of 2010, the current .5 unit of "Guidance" required for graduation to be replaced with .5 unit "Personal/Transition Plan."
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: Minutes of June 21, 2007 state board of education meeting
    Ninth grade initiatives: Hawaii P-20 Initiative, 2006-2010 Strategic Plan
    Long term plans:
    Hawaii State Board of Education Policy 4540

    Idaho
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. Effective with the Class of 2012, all grade 11 students will take the COMPASS, ACT or SAT.
    Initiatives to improve the senior year Effective with the Class of 2012, 12th graders will be required to complete a senior year project. The project must include a research paper and an oral presentation.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Students will maintain a parent-approved student learning plan for their high school and post-high school options. The learning plan will be developed by students and parents or guardians with advice and recommendation from school personnel. It will be reviewed annually and may be revised at any time. The purpose of a parent-approved student learning plan is to outline a course of study and learning activities for students to become contributing members of society. A student learning plan describes, at a minimum, the list of courses and learning activities in which the student will engage while working toward meeting the district’s graduation standards. The school district will have met its obligation for parental involvement if it makes a good faith effort to notify the parent or guardian of the responsibility for the development and approval of the learning plan. A learning plan will not be required if the parent or guardian requests, in writing, that no learning plan be developed."
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: IDAHO ADMIN. CODE 08.02.03.107(09)
    Senior year initiatives: IDAHO ADMIN. CODE 08.02.03.107(10)
    Long term plans: IDAHO ADMIN. CODE 08.02.104.03

    Illinois
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The ACT Plus Writing is required for 11th graders as part of the Prairie State Achievement Examination.
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts The Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange, hosted by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, offers an e-transcript service at no cost to all high schools, to allow counselors and students to submit transcripts and other data to postsecondary institutions along with students' college applications.
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: Illinois State Board of Education Prairie State Achievement Examination Web site
    E-transcript: Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) Web site

    Indiana
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Effective with the Class of 2011, all students must complete the Core 40 unless an individual exception is granted. "Upon the request of a student's parent, the student may be exempted from the Core 40 curriculum requirement set forth in subsection (b) and required to complete the general curriculum to be eligible to graduate. Except as provided in subsection (j), the student's parent and the student's counselor (or another staff member who assists students in course selection) shall meet to discuss the student's progress. Following the meeting, the student's parent shall determine whether the student will achieve greater educational benefits by: (1) continuing the general curriculum; or (2) completing the Core 40 curriculum."

    In addition, effective with the Class of 2010, all students must complete three units in a "career-academic sequence."
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts The Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education partnered to develop e-transcripts to facilitate transfer of information among high schools and to postsecondary institutions in the state.
    Sources Long term plans: IND. CODE ANN. § 20-32-4-7; IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 511, r. 6-7.1-4
    E-transcript: "Indiana e-Transcript Initiative/ETCR Overview," updated August 6, 2006

    Iowa
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, districts must report to each student in grades 9-12, and to each minor student's parents, the student's progress toward completing the model core curriculum and high school graduation requirements.

    In addition, the college-bound program, administered by the Iowa Board of Regents, is designed to provide minority students with information and experiences related to educational opportunities at the universities under the jurisdiction of the regents. The program includes the following components:
  • Reinforcement of efforts to attract undergraduate students from age groups currently served by traditional methods of outreach.
  • Extension of traditional recruitment methods which are designed to encourage minority students in 7th-12th grade to pursue postsecondary opportunities.
  • Identification of courses of study to be targeted for the recruitment of minority students.

  • The program includes a voucher system for students who complete a college-bound program. The vouchers are used at the regents universities to give students priority over other students who are applying for grants under the Iowa Minority Academic Grants for Economic Success Program.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, each eighth grade student must develop “a core curriculum plan to guide the student toward the goal of successfully completing, at a minimum, the model core curriculum … by the time the student graduates from high school.” The plan must include career options and identify the coursework the student must take to support his/her postsecondary education and career options. If the student is under 18, the student's parent or guardian must sign the core curriculum plan developed with the student and the signed plan must be included in the student's records.
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts One of the duties of the department of education is to develop and implement a "comprehensive management information system" which includes the electronic transfer of student records between schools, districts, postsecondary institutions and the department.
    Sources Outreach: IOWA CODE §§ 279.61, 262.92
    Long term plans: IOWA CODE § 279.61
    E-transcript: IOWA CODE § 256.9

    Kansas
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    Kentucky
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. All students are required to take EXPLORE in grade 8, PLAN in grade 10 and the ACT in grade 11. EXPLORE, PLAN and the ACT are collectively referred to as the "Kentucky Work and College Readiness Examination" or "Readiness Examination." If funds are available, the department of education is required to provide an ACT preparation program to all 11th graders.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, middle and high school students will have to complete an Individual Learning Plan. The learning plan is first given to students in the 6th grade, and will become a graduation requirement beginning with the Class of 2012 (currently, students in grades 8-12 must complete an Individual Graduation Plan which is a similar, paper version).

    The Individual Learning Plan includes the following components:
  • Exploring careers beginning in the 6th grade.
  • Creating education plans.
  • Establishing personal goals and revisit these as they progress through school.
  • Creating, maintaining and changing resumes.
  • Tracking and reflecting on their community services experiences, work experiences, career-planning activities, and extra-curricular and organization activities.
  • Exploring colleges and postsecondary opportunities that match their career, postsecondary and life goals.
  • State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts Through the GoHigherKY.org Web site, students and counselors may submit an e-transcript and online college application at the same time.
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: KY. REV. STAT. ANN. § 158.6453
    Long term plans: 704 KY. ADMIN. REGS. 3:305; Kentucky Department of Education, Individual Leaning Plan Web site
    E-transcript: gohigherKY.org Online Applications and Electronic Transcripts Web page and counselor authorization Web page

    Louisiana
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The Louisiana Board of Regents offers EXPLORE and PLAN to schools at no charge. All students in participating schools must take EXPLORE in grade 8 and PLAN in grade 10. Virtually all schools participate.
    Initiatives to improve the senior year The purpose of the Commission on High School Redesign is to develop high schools that graduate all students prepared to succeed. One problem identified by the commission is the inefficient use of time during the senior year. "Many Louisiana high schools still engage in the old practice of offering 'early afternoon release' to seniors who do not need to take a full course-load to earn enough credits for a diploma," the 2006 commission report states. "Instead of early release, high schools should offer an early start on college or advanced workplace training." The report suggests that policymakers should find ways to decrease the number of college students who have to take remedial courses by allowing interested students to take advantage of college-level courses and get a "head start" on success.
    Initiatives to improve the ninth grade year The purpose of the Commission on High School Redesign is to make recommendations that will ultimately create high schools that graduate all youth prepared to succeed.

    One of the commission's major proposals is to improve the 9th grade year for Louisiana students. The 2006 commission report states that, "this effort [of school redesign] should focus first on getting things right in the ninth grade- especially putting into place strategies and structures that will create more personalization as well as provide more and better instruction for students who are behind." The commission recommends that policymakers pay attention to how high schools support incoming freshmen. They suggest that each incoming student be put into a small learning community, a "ninth grade academy," and work with an adult mentor. Students who are falling behind in middle school should also receive extra attention in 9th grade, the commission report suggests. The commission additionally recommends that the department of education develop an Early Warning System by examining the LEAP and iLEAP test results to determine if students need extra instruction in literacy and/or mathematics in grades 9 and 10.

    To this end, the 2008 legislature approved a measure requiring the state board to develop specific methods of targeted intervention or identify appropriate existing methods for districts with a four-year cohort graduation rate below 70%. The legislation provides that these measures may include early intervention for students who are at risk of failing Algebra I or any 9th grade math class. The bill also directs the state board to gather specific data to ensure that all programs are research-based and data-driven, and to use such data for continuous program improvement. Among these data are the total number of students who have failed Algebra I or English I, the total number of students who are repeating the 9th grade, and the total number of students required to repeat a 9th grade course.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Prior to student scheduling each year, each middle, junior, or high school shall provide the parent/guardian/legal custodian with a listing of course offerings, the content of each, and high school graduation requirements where appropriate. By the end of the eighth grade, each student shall develop, with the input of his family, a Five Year Educational Plan. Such a plan shall include a sequence of courses that is consistent with the student's stated goals for one year after graduation. Each student's Five Year Educational Plan shall be reviewed annually thereafter by the student, parents, and school advisor and revised as needed. Every middle, junior, or high school shall require that the parent/guardian/legal custodian sign his/her child's schedule form and the Five Year Educational Plan for students in grades 8-12."
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts Beginning with the Class of 2003, all schools and districts have been required to submit student transcripts electronically through the Student Transcript System (STS) to determine students' TOPS scholarship eligibility. In addition, according to the STS user guide for the 2007-2008 school year, "The Official Transcript System (OTS) will be used to access all official transcripts for Louisiana graduates. OTS electronically creates images which become the official high school transcripts."
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: Louisiana Board of Regents Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) Web site
    Senior year and Ninth grade initiatives: LA. REV. STAT. ANN. § 17:3951; Louisiana Department of Education, High School Redesign Commission Web site; 2006 Commission Report: Phase I Recommendations
    Long term plans:
    LA. REV. STAT. ANN. § 17:183.2; LA. ADMIN. CODE tit. 28, § CXV.901
    E-transcript: Student Transcript System "STS" User Guide, 2007-2008 (last update 2-25-2008)

    Maine
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The SAT is required for 11th graders.
    Initiatives to improve the senior year In 2003, the Maine Community College System initiated a program called "Early College for ME." The goal of the program is to increase college awareness and participation among students who are capable of succeeding in but have no plans to attend college. Students are identified for the program in their junior year and begin taking college courses during their senior year.

    The features of the program include outreach and dual enrollment options:
  • Assessment of academic readiness for college.
  • Counseling on courses students should take to meet college entrance requirements.
  • Assistance selecting early college courses.
  • Assistance with the college application and financial aid process (including help completing FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid] form).
  • Financial aid ($500/semester for up to four semesters).
  • "Go to" person available once student begins early college.
  • Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) The Finance Authority of Maine is required to administer an outreach program that:
  • Provides career and financial aid counseling to middle and high school students and their parents, and to adults seeking postsecondary education.
  • Provides, to the extent of available resources, counseling services in accessible locations statewide to assist eligible participants.
  • Provide eligible participants with information on career options, education programs and postsecondary schools.
  • Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Under the state's Comprehensive School Reform Program, students in participating schools must created personalized learning plans. According to a report issued by the Maine Commission on Secondary Education, "Every student employs a personal learning plan to target individual as well as common learning goals and to specify learning activities that will lead to the attainment of those goals." Each student's learning plan includes the following strategies:

  • The personal learning plan begins "where the student is" and identifies learning strengths, challenges, and strategies to meet.
  • Student, teacher(s), and parent(s) collaborate in the plan’s development, execution, and review.
  • Progress is reviewed every 6-8 weeks: past activity and assessments are used to revisit and, if appropriate, revise learning plans.
  • Parents and staff use the plan as a planning device for the transition from secondary school to a future appropriate for each student; plans and assessments constitute a portfolio that exhibits, for future purposes, the student’s talents, challenges, and future potential.
  • Sources Subsidized testing fees: Maine Department of Education Informational Letter No. 39: Transition from the MEA to the College Board SAT for Grade 11 Students
    Senior year initiatives: Early College for ME Web site; Jean Mattimore, Ed.D. Executive Director, Center for Career Development and State Director, Early College for ME Maine Community College System
    Outreach: ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 20-A, § 12671
    Long term plans: Maine Department of Education, Comprehensive School Reform Program Web site; Maine Commission on Secondary Education report, Promising Futures: A Call to Improve Learning for Maine's Secondary Students (see pg. 28)

    Maryland
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The state subsidizes the PSAT for all students in the 10th grade.
    Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) Each high school principal must annually provide all parents and students with information on:
  • Maryland high school graduation requirements
  • The student's progress towards fulfilling the credit, Maryland High School Assessment, service and applicable IEP graduation requirements
  • The results of each Maryland High School Assessment taken by the student
  • Plans for appropriate assistance/remediation
  • The department's testing schedule

  • In addition, as part of the statewide higher education plan, the president of the board of regents must "Stimulate outreach to the community and state through close relationships with public elementary and secondary schools, business and industry, and governmental agencies."
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts An early adopter, Maryland began developing its e-transcript efforts in the 1990s. As early as 1997, "all 11 UMS degree-granting institutions, 12 Maryland community colleges, Morgan State University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, The Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies, and Villa Julie College" were using the Electronic Transcript Transmission System (ET) ... The first pilot project with the secondary schools was successfully implemented during the spring of 1996."
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: MD. CODE ANN., EDUC. § 7-203.1(a)(2)
    Outreach: MD. REGS. CODE. tit. 13A, § 03.02.12; MD. CODE ANN., EDUC. § 14-104
    E-transcript: "Electronic Transcripts," from Section II, "Articulation and Transfer in Maryland," from Maryland: A Leader in Articulation and Transfer, A Report of the Student Transfer Advisory Committee, September 1997

    Massachusetts
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    Michigan
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The ACT is required for 11th graders as part of the Michigan Merit Exam.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Every student in grade 7 must be provided the opportunity to create a long-term educational development plan, and must have developed an educational development plan by the time he/she begins high school. The educational plan must be based on a career pathways program or similar career exploration program.

    In addition, all students, effective with the Class of 2011, must complete the rigorous Michigan Merit Core curriculum, unless a student's parent requests a "personal curriculum" that modifies academic course requirements.
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: MICH. COMP. LAWS § 380.1279g; Michigan Merit Exam Web site
    Long term plans: MICH. COMP. LAWS §§ 380.1278b(11), 380.1278(5)

    Minnesota
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The department of education offers EXPLORE and PLAN to districts at no charge. Students in participating districts may take EXPLORE in grade 8 and PLAN in grade 10.
    Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) The director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education is directed to "award grants to foster postsecondary attendance by providing outreach services to historically underserved students in grades 6-12. Grants must be awarded to programs that provide precollege services, including, but not limited to:
    (1) Academic counseling
    (2) Mentoring
    (3) Fostering and improving parental involvement in planning for and facilitating a college education
    (4) Services for students with English as a second language
    (5) Academic enrichment activities
    (6) Tutoring
    (7) Career awareness and exploration
    (8) Orientation to college life
    (9) Assistance with high school course selection and information about college admission requirements
    (10) Financial aid counseling."
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts The state has partnered with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact to launch the Minnesota e-Transcript Initiative. High schools may register to send transcripts electronically. Postsecondary institutions may register to receive high school and postsecondary transcripts or send their own transcripts electronically.
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: MINN. STAT. § 120B.128
    Outreach: MINN. STAT. § 136A.861
    E-Transcript: Minnesota E-Transcript Initiative Web page

    Mississippi
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. Subject to appropriation, all grade 10 students must be offered the PSAT or ACT PLAN. However, according to a January 2007 document, the department currently does not have funds to offer students these assessments.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Each student upon completion of grade 8 must have "developed a career plan which includes career goals, objectives, and a plan for achieving them; and selection of appropriate secondary and post-secondary curriculum. The parent/guardian is required to sign off on a student planned program of study."
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: CMSR 36-000-113 (Mississippi State Board Policy Manual, Code 2903)
    Long term plans:
    CMSR 36-000-064

    Missouri
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    Montana
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    Nebraska
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts The Nebraska E-Transcript Initiative allows high schools to sign up to send electronic transcripts to postsecondary institutions, and allows postsecondary institutions to sign up to receive such transcripts.
    Sources E-transcript: Nebraska E-Transcript Initiative FAQ

    Nevada
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives to improve the ninth grade year The board of trustees of each school district must develop policies to ensure that all high schools with 1,200 students or more provide small learning communities within the school. Policies must require guidance counselors, at least one licensed school administrator, and appropriate adult mentors to be assigned to ninth graders. The school must also:

  • Designate a separate area within the high school for ninth graders to attend class.
  • Collect and maintain information on ninth graders, including credits earned, attendance, truancy and other risk indicators.
  • Identify special needs of ninth graders with respect to remediation and counseling.
  • Develop methods to increase parental involvement in the education of their ninth grade student.
  • Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans District policies must provide for the development of a 4-year academic plan for each 9th grader. The academic plan must be developed by the student, student's parent and a school counselor, and must "set forth the specific educational goals [the student] intends to achieve" before high school graduation. The academic plan may include "the designation of a career pathway and enrollment in dual credit courses, career and technical education courses, advanced placement courses and honors courses."

    The plan must be reviewed at least once each school year in consultation with a school counselor, and may be revised if necessary.
    Sources Ninth grade initiatives: NEV. REV. STAT. 388.215
    Long term plans: NEV. REV. STAT. 388.205

    New Hampshire
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    New Jersey
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    New Mexico
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The public education department must approve a college readiness assessment for all 10th grade students by the 2008-2009 school year. The assessment must test English, reading and mathematics.
    Initiatives to improve the ninth grade year At the end of the eighth grade, a student who is not academically proficient will be retained for no more than one school year to become academically proficient. If the student assistance team determines that retention of the student in the eighth grade will not assist the student to become academically proficient, the team must design a high school graduation plan to meet the student's needs for entry into the workforce or a postsecondary education institution.

    If a student is retained in the eighth grade, the student assistance team must develop a specific academic improvement plan that clearly delineates the student's academic deficiencies and prescribes a specific remediation plan to address those academic deficiencies.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans At the end of grades 8 through 11, each student shall prepare an interim next-step plan that sets forth the coursework for the grades remaining until high school graduation. Each year's plan shall explain any differences from the previous interim next-step plans, shall be filed with the principal ... and shall be signed by the student, the student's parent or guardian and the student's guidance counselor or other school official charged with coursework planning for the student." Each interim next-step plan must specify "post-high-school goals" and "the coursework that will allow the student to achieve those goals." "Each student must complete a final next-step plan during the senior year and prior to graduation" to be filed with the principal and signed by the same individuals listed above. The final next-step plan must show "that the student has committed or intends to commit in the near future to" a four- or two-year postsecondary institution, "a trade or vocational program, an internship or apprenticeship, military service or a job."

    Students must develop all next-step plans in consultation with their "parent or guardian and school counselor or other school official charged with coursework planning for the student." Local boards must "ensure that each high school student has the opportunity to develop a next-step plan and is reasonably informed about: (1) curricular and course options; (2) opportunities available that lead to different post-high-school options; and (3) alternative opportunities available if the student does not finish a planned curriculum."
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: 2007 N.M. H.B. 584 § 4
    Ninth grade initiatives: N.M. STAT. ANN. § 22-2c-6
    Long term plans: N.M. STAT. ANN. § 22-13-1.1

    New York
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    North Carolina
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. Every student in grades 8-10 who has completed Algebra I or who is in the last month of Algebra I must be given the opportunity to take the PSAT once at state expense. (Algebra I is a required course for the career preparation and college/university preparation courses of study. The college technical preparation course of study requires either Algebra I or integrated mathematics I. Algebra I is not a requirement for the occupational course of study.)
    Initiatives to improve the senior year Effective with the Class of 2010, students following the career preparation, college technical preparation or college/university preparation courses of study must complete a senior project "developed, monitored and scored" by the district "using state-adopted rubrics..."
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts The Transcript Manager on the College Foundation of North Carolina Web site allows students in participating public high schools to request their transcript electronically and submit it when they apply for college through the CFNC Web site.
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-174.18
    Senior year initiatives: N.C. ADMIN. CODE tit. 16, § 6D.0503
    E-transcript: Transcript Manager on College Foundation of North Carolina Web site

    North Dakota
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    Ohio
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. Legislation directed the partnership for continued learning, with the board of regents and the board of education, to recommend a college-ready assessment by the end of July 2007. The assessment must include English and mathematics. The partnership has identified the need to more clearly define college and work readiness before specifying a specific assessment instrument. In the meantime, the partnership's interim recommendation is that "the placement policy announced by the Chancellor in the 10 year strategic plan serve as an interim strategy for assessing college and work readiness while the longer term assessment plan is developed. The partnership also recommends and encourages identification of effective implementation and communication strategies for the use of placement policy as an interim college and work readiness assessment."
    Initiatives to improve the senior year Seniors to Sophomores is a dual enrollment program offering high school seniors the opportunity to enroll in a University System of Ohio institution to earn up to one year of high school and postsecondary credit at no cost to the student. In fall 2008, 49 volunteer Early Adopter districts and their postsecondary partners will begin piloting the program. Eligible seniors must have passed the Ohio Graduation Test, completed three years of English and Algebra II with a "C" or better, and score "college ready" on the institution's placement assessment.
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts By April 30, 2009, "the department of education and the Ohio board of regents jointly shall propose a standard method and form for documenting on high school transcripts high school credits earned that are compatible with the standards for credit transfer and articulation adopted by the board of regents under sections 3333.16 and 3333.161 [3333.16.1] of the Revised Code and any electronic clearinghouse for student transcript transfer developed by the board of regents."
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: OHIO REV. CODE ANN. § 3301.43; Ohio Partnership for Continued Learning College and Work Readiness Assessment Recommendation
    Senior year initiatives: Seniors to Sophomores Web page
    E-transcript: OHIO REV. CODE ANN. § 3301.46

    Oklahoma
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education offers EXPLORE and PLAN to districts at no charge. All students in participating districts must take EXPLORE in grade 8 and PLAN in grade 10.
    Initiatives to improve the senior year As a condition of state accreditation, schools must ensure that all students in grades 9-12 are enrolled in at least six periods (or the equivalent in block scheduling) "of rigorous academic and/or rigorous vocational courses each day[.]"
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Effective with the Class of 2010, students must complete a specified "college preparatory/work ready" curriculum, unless they receive written approval from the student's parent to complete the less rigorous "core curriculum" required prior to the Class of 2010. Districts may require a parent to meet with a school designee prior to the student's enrollment in the core curriculum. The department of education must "distribute to school districts a form suitable for this purpose" that must "include information on the benefits to students of completing the college preparatory/work ready curriculum[.]"
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: Oklahoma State Regents EPAS Web site
    Senior year: OKLA. STAT. ANN. tit. 70, § 11-103.6
    Long-term plans: OKLA. STAT. ANN. tit. 70, §

    Oregon
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. All 10th graders must be provided the opportunity to take the PSAT, unless the district has obtained a waiver.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Effective with the Class of 2007, all students must (1) "develop an education plan and build an education profile"; (2) "build a collection of evidence, or include evidence in existing collections, to demonstrate extended application"; (3) "demonstrate career-related knowledge and skills in the following areas: personal management, problem solving, communication, teamwork, employment foundations, and career development"; and (4) "participate in career-related learning experiences outlined in the education plan..."
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts The state board of education is authorized to establish rules for the content and format of an electronic student record, to be used to transfer student record information from one educational institution to another. The electronic student record includes "a full and complete copy of the official student permanent record, student education record and certificate of immunization status that are required by state and federal law."
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: OR. REV. STAT. § 329.488
    Long term plans: OR. ADMIN. R. 581-022-1130
    E-transcript: OR. REV. STAT. § 326.580

    Pennsylvania
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives to improve the senior year Locally established graduation standards must require all students to complete "a culminating project... to assure that students are able to apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information and communicate significant knowledge and understanding."
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans No; however, Project 720 (named for the number of days students spend in grades 9 through 12) includes an initiative to create personalized learning environments for participating districts. One component of the personalized learning environment is the requirement that students create a learning plan to help guide them through high school. According to the Project 720 Web site, the learning plans should be developed with a school counselor, parent(s) and a mentor.
    Sources Senior year initiatives: 22 PA. CODE § 4.24
    Long term plans: Pennsylvania Department of Education, Project 720 Web site

    Puerto Rico
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    Rhode Island
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The PSAT will not be offered to all 10th and 11th grade students in the 2008-2009 school year due to budget cuts. However, the department hopes to make the PSAT available to students again in the 2009-2010 school year.
    Initiatives to improve the senior year The state does not mandate that all students complete a senior project. However, effective with the Class of 2008, all students must complete locally determined proficiency-based measures in addition to Carnegie units. One of the proficiency demonstration options that a district may require of all students is completion of a senior-year project.
    Initiatives to improve the ninth grade year Legislation directs the department to "develop specific methods of targeted intervention or identify appropriate existing methods for school districts that have a dropout rate" over 15%. Legislation provides that these methods may include "early intervention for students who fail Algebra I or any ninth grade math class and have insufficient credits to be promoted[.]"
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans pending response from RIDE to 7-21-08 e-mail
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: Rhode Island Department of Education Web site
    Senior year initiatives: R.I. CODE R. 08 010 011
    Ninth grade initiatives: R.I GEN LAWS § 16-67.1-2

    South Carolina
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. In FY 2009, the state is paying for all grade 10 students to take either the PSAT or PLAN, and for all grade 8 or 9 students to take EXPLORE. The information from the EXPLORE assessment will be used by counselors for academic and career counseling with grade 8 students and their parents in the IGP (Individual Graduation Plan) conference, held the second semester of the eighth grade year.

    In its FY 2009 budget, the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) requested but did not receive funding to implement the EPAS system. The department asked for funding to cover the costs of EXPLORE for all grade 8 or 9 students, PLAN for all grade 10 students, and the ACT for grade 11 students who had taken the core courses recommended by Act, Inc. The department also asked for funding for all grade 10 students to take the PSAT/NMSQT and for grade 11 students who had taken the core courses recommended by the College Board to take the SAT. (Students would not have been allowed to take the ACT and SAT, but would have to choose between the assessments based on their experience taking the PSAT and PLAN in grade 10.)

    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans The state department of education has developed state models and prototypes for individual graduation plans and the curriculum framework for career clusters of study. Before the end of eighth grade, eighth grade students and their parents or parents' designee must choose a preferred cluster of study and develop an individual graduation plan. An individual graduation plan must include core academic subjects and "experience-based, career-oriented learning experiences" and "be flexible to allow change in the course of study but be sufficiently structured to meet graduation requirements and admission to postsecondary education[.]"

    During the 2007-2008 school year, each high school implemented a career guidance program model or prototype. Certified school guidance counselors are to advise 9th and 10th graders "to further define their career cluster goals and individual graduation plans," and by the end of 10th grade, all students must declare "an area of academic focus within a cluster of study. Throughout high school, students must be provided guidance activities and career awareness programs that combine counseling on career options and experiential learning with academic planning to assist students in fulfilling their individual graduation plans.

    By the 2009-2010 school year, all high schools must "implement the principles of the 'High Schools That Work' organizational model or have obtained approval from the Department of Education for another cluster or major organizational model."
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: S.C. CODE ANN. § 59-18-350; Suzette Lee, Director, Office of High School Redesign, South Carolina Department of Education
    Long term plans: S.C. CODE ANN. §§ 59-59-50, 59-59-110, 59-59-130, 59-59-140

    South Dakota
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) By November 1 of each year, each school district must provide the names and addresses of every student in grades 7-12 to the board of regents. The board provides information to students' parents on the courses needed to prepare for postsecondary work. Parents may notify the district that they do not want their information distributed to the board of regents.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Effective with the Class of 2010, students must enroll in courses required to complete the Advanced or Distinguished high school program. A student may be excused from this requirement "if the student's parent or guardian and a school counselor or school administrator agree that the student should instead take courses of instruction necessary to complete the basic high school program also established by the board ...."
    Sources Outreach: S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-28-50
    Long term plans: S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-33-9; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:43:11:06

    Tennessee
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc.

    The EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT are administered to all students in grades 8, 10 and 11, respectively. According to the state board's January 2008 rule, "Schools will develop interventions for [8th grade] students who are not performing to the level needed to be on track to reach the ACT Readiness Benchmark." Based on PLAN scores, the intervention plans of 10th graders not making sufficient progress "will be adjusted to better assist students to reach the ACT Readiness Benchmark scores."

    Schools may opt to substitute College Board assessments (e.g., PSAT, SAT) for the ACT-based assessments.

    Initiatives to improve the senior year Local boards are encouraged but not mandated to require all students to complete a senior project or other capstone project.
    Initiatives to improve the ninth grade year

    January 2008 state board rules direct schools to "strive to integrate the [high school] curriculum, especially during the ninth and tenth grades. Teachers are encouraged to work in teams to plan and deliver instruction."

    The rules also encourage schools to use students' 8th grade EXPLORE scores "and other appropriate assessments" to identify students unprepared for 9th grade. "Schools are encouraged to experiment with ways to accomplish this including but not limited to:

    • high school readiness programs during the summer prior to 9th grade
    • extended time to master challenging courses, with elective credit given for the additional units
    • tutoring by teachers, peers or community volunteers during school, before and after school, and on weekends
    • an accelerated program to bring 9th grade students up to grade level
    • computer assisted programs."
    Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) is directed to develop and provide information on scholarships and postsecondary admissions requirements, including:
    (1) Eligibility requirements for the various lottery scholarships
    (2) Admission standards for eligible postsecondary institutions and the differences between admission standards and scholarship eligibility requirements
    (3) Computation of grade point averages for lottery scholarship eligibility (for both initial eligibility and retention)
    (4) Testing dates for the ACT and SAT and the use of such tests in postsecondary admissions decisions.

    This information must be provided to students on any lottery scholarship day TSAC conducts (TSAC not mandated to conduct lottery scholarship day), and to the department of education for dissemination to schools holding lottery scholarship days. TSAC must submit the scholarship and postsecondary admissions information in a summarized form to the department, for inclusion in student handbooks, for dissemination to students in grades 8-12, and must update this information annually.

    Each school serving students in grades 8-11 must annually conduct at least one lottery scholarship day for students and parents before students register for classes. During lottery scholarship day, eligibility requirements for lottery scholarships must be discussed with students and their parents, and the TSAC information in (1)-(4) above must be given to students and parents. Each school must also "provide community-specific information to students and their parents regarding opportunities for tutoring and test-taking skills development in subjects covered by the ACT and SAT examinations, after-school educational enrichment programs, the academic value of enrollment and success in college preparatory and advanced placement courses in high school, and the importance of early providence and planning for future college participation." On lottery scholarship day, schools must inform students and their parents of the importance of passing the state exit exams (Gateway tests), "and the consequences of failure to pass the tests with respect to further educational opportunities." Parents of students in grades 8-11 must "acknowledge that they have received the information concerning lottery scholarships [that schools must provide] when they sign students' course schedules for the following school year."

    All high schools must additionally provide workshops on completing college admissions and financial aid applications for students in grades 10-12 and their parents. Such "workshops may be conducted in conjunction with the school's lottery scholarship day."

    Each district is required to annually report "to the department of education when each school's lottery scholarship day was conducted, the number of students participating, the percentage of students participating in each grade, and the activities that occurred during that day. LEAs shall also report when each school conducted college admissions workshops, the number of students participating, the percentage of students participating in each grade and the activities that occurred at such workshops." The department is required to compile and evaluate this data, and submit an annual report on lottery scholarship days and college admission workshops to the house and senate education committees.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans In 8th grade, all students are required to develop a four-year plan of study with their parents and a faculty advisor or guidance counselor, to be reviewed annually. The plan must "connect the student's academic and career goals to school." By the end of 10th grade, the student and parent will focus the plan "to ensure a smooth transition to postsecondary study and work." The plan will be based on the assumption that all students will participate in some form of post-high school education and/or training. "The plan should contain information about career options and long-term goals supported by the plan through the courses to be taken in the eleventh and twelfth grades as well as courses to be taken at the postsecondary level."
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts The eTrans system was launched in 2005 to allow public and private high schools to transfer student transcripts to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) to determine lottery scholarship eligibility and to postsecondary institutions to apply and transfer student transcripts online.
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: Tennessee State Board of Education High School Transition Policy, Rule, January 25, 2008
    Senior year initiatives: TENN. COMP. R. & REGS. 0520-1-3-.06, as revised January 2008
    Ninth grade initiatives: Tennessee State Board of Education High School Transition Policy, Rule, January 25, 2008
    Outreach: TENN. CODE ANN. § 49-49-932
    Long-term plans: Tennessee State Board of Education High School Transition Policy, Rule, January 25, 2008
    E-transcript: Department of Education Information Systems Plan 2005-2008

    Texas
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives to improve the senior year The Early High School Graduation Scholarship program offers tuition assistance to eligible students to attend public or private postsecondary institutions in the state. Students graduating from a public high school must complete either (1) a recommended or advanced diploma in no more than 41 consecutive months or (2) a recommended or advanced diploma, with at least 30 hours of college credit, in no more than 46 consecutive months. Scholarship award amounts vary depending upon the number of months a student used to complete the high school graduation requirements and the hours of postsecondary credit (none, at least 15 or at least 30) a student had earned upon high school graduation.
    Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) Every school district must notify middle and high school students and their parents of sources of information on higher education admissions and financial aid, and the need to make informed curriculum choices to be prepared for success after high school. Each student's transcript or diploma must also indicate by end the of the student's junior year whether the student is on track to complete or has completed the recommended or advanced high school curriculum.

    In addition, each counselor at an elementary, middle or junior high school must advise students and their parents on "the importance of higher education, coursework designed to prepare students for higher education, and financial aid availability and requirements." During each student's freshman and senior years of high school, the counselor must provide students and their parents on
    (1) The importance of higher education
    (2) The advantages of completing the recommended or advanced high school program
    (3) The disadvantages of completing a high school equivalency exam relative to the benefits of completing a high school diploma
    (4) Financial aid eligibility
    (5) Instruction on how to apply for federal financial aid
    (6) The center for financial aid information established by statute
    (7) The automatic admission of certain students to general academic teaching institutions
    (8) The eligibility and academic performance requirements for the TEXAS Grant.

    Lastly, a public-private partnership with the College for All Texans Campaign is making available "GO Centers," which may be based on high school campuses (or middle school or postsecondary campuses); "satellite" centers based at local workforce centers, public libraries or community centers; or mobile GO centers, a fleet of vans based out of four Texas colleges. All centers provide students with resources to learn more about postsecondary options, admissions criteria, and guidance in completing admissions and financial aid applications. GO Centers are encouraged to host financial aid nights in February, to help students and their parents complete the FAFSA.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans All students must complete the "recommended" or "advanced" diploma requirements unless the student, student's parent and a school counselor or administrator "agree that the student should be permitted to take courses under the minimum high school program."
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts By the 2007-2008 school year, each school district, open-enrollment charter school, and institution of higher education shall participate in an electronic student records system that satisfies standards approved by the commissioner of education and the commissioner of higher education. The student record includes the following information: course or grade completion, teachers of record, assessment instrument results, receipt of special education services and the personal graduation plan.
    Sources Senior year: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. §§ 56.201 through 56.210
    Outreach: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. §§ 56.308, 33.007; GO Center Manual; GO Center Collaborative—Education Go Get It!
    Long term plans: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 28.025
    E-transcript: TEX. EDUC. CODE ANN. § 7.010

    Utah
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives to improve the senior year The state supports two scholarship programs to improve the senior year of high school:

    The Centennial scholarship program offers the lesser of $1,000 or one year's tuition to a student who completes high school at the end of grade 11 or earlier. A student who completes high school after the end of grade 11 but before the end of grade 12 receieves a proportionately lesser amount.

    The New Century scholarship program provides a scholarship to a student who completes an associate's degree with at least a 3.0 grade point average by September 1 of the year the student's class graduates from high school. The scholarship covers 75% of tuition at a state system of higher education institution (or equivalent amount at an accredited private institution in the state), for up to two years of full-time enrollment.
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts Utah state board rule includes a definition, effective July 2010, of the Utah eTranscript and Record Exchange (UTREx) system. By rule, the system will allow individual detailed student records to be exchanged electronically among Utah public schools and LEAs and the state office of education, and will allow electronic transcripts to be sent to any participating postsecondary institution. All LEAs will be required to participate in UTREx as of July 2010.
    Sources Senior year initiatives: UTAH CODE ANN. §§ 53A-15-102, 53B-8-105
    E-Transcript: UTAH ADMIN. CODE R277-484-1(M), 277-484-3

    Vermont
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives to improve the ninth grade year According to a 2002 department of education publication on high school reform, "students learn best when they are in a physically, emotionally and intellectually safe and respectful environment." As such, one of the recommendations of the report is to develop freshman academies and transition programs to assist entering 9th graders. 
    Sources Ninth grade initiatives: Vermont Department of Education, High Schools on the Move: Renewing Vermont's Commitment to Quality Secondary Education (see pg. 19)

    Virginia
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives to improve the senior year Senior Year Plus, initiated by Gov. Mark Warner, offers two options to better prepare students for life after high school, while reducing the cost of college tuition and technical training. The two options are the Early College Scholars and Path to Industry Certification programs, both allowing high school students (seniors for Early College Scholars program and both juniors and seniors in Path to Industry Certification program) to begin college coursework while still in high school. Early College Scholars program is supported by the Virginia Virtual Advanced Placement School and Commonwealth College Course Collaborative, a set of 13 credit hours accepted at all participating postsecondary institutions for degree credit.

    High school seniors complete 15 units of college credit via dual enrollment, the Virginia Virtual Advanced Placement School, or Cambridge, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses at their home high schools. To participate, students must have at least a "B" average, be working toward an Advanced Studies Diploma, and complete college-level work through one of the aforementioned methods. The related Commonwealth College Course Collaborative is a set of 13 credit hours accepted at all participating postsecondary institutions for degree credit. The Path to Industry Certification Program, available to all districts and community colleges in the state, allows high school juniors and seniors who do not have plans for college to simultaneously complete high school graduation requirements and pursue technical certification. Subject to available funding, the program pays for the student's tuition up to the in-state rate, applicable community college fees, textbook costs and certification exam fees. Students also complete a career assessment of the school's choice to determine potential career interests. Participating students likewise have access to One-Stop Center employment services. Participating students and their parents, the high school principal, the high school counselor and the community college coordinator must also sign a compact clarifying the respective responsibilities of the student, parent, high school, and Virginia Community College System.
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts

    As of June 2008, the state is piloting an e-transcript program with nine school divisions and two postsecondary institutions.

    Sources Senior year initiatives: Virginia Department of Education, Senior Year Plus Web site
    E-transcript: EIMS and SIF News, June 2008 (Volume 5, Issue 5), Virginia Department of Education

    Virgin Islands

    Washington
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    Initiatives to improve the senior year As a part of the state's minimum graduation requirements, "Each student shall complete a culminating project for graduation. The project consists of the student demonstrating both their learning competencies and preparations related to learning goals three and four. Each district shall define the process to implement this graduation requirement, including assessment criteria, in written district policy."
    Initiatives to improve the ninth grade year Project Graduation is an initiative from the office of the superintendent to identify the commonalities that represent the most effective practices for schools to improve student achievement. Project Graduation includes:

    9th Grade Transitions & Extra Help Programs:
  • Gearing up program – Identify 7th and 8th grade students needing help
  • Four to six week summer program for identified incoming high school students
  • Extra help – double doses of math and reading/literacy
  • Monitoring through meaningful advisory programs – Advocate for every family
  • Increase annually the number of students taking Algebra 1 in 8th grade
  • Lower teacher student ratio in 9th grade – Best teachers in 9th Grade
  • 9th grade teachers with common planning time
  • Transition classes for English, mathematics using a block schedule structure
  • Career and technical education courses in 9th grade using a block schedule structure
  • Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) Each high school must provide all students and students' parents with a copy of the applicable high school graduation requirements and a progress report at the close of each school year. If a student is not making normal progress toward meeting the requirements, the high school must notify the student and parents of alternative education experiences, including summer school opportunities available in the community.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans Effective with the Class of 2008, all students must adopt a "high school and beyond plan," "an education plan for their high school experience, including what they expect to do the year following graduation."
    Sources Senior year initiatives: WASH. ADMIN. CODE § 180-51-061
    Ninth grade initiatives: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Project Graduation: 9th Grade Transitions
    Outreach: WASH. ADMIN. CODE § 180-51-045
    Long term plans: WASH. ADMIN. CODE § 180-51-061

    West Virginia
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. All students must take EXPLORE in grade 8 and PLAN in grade 10, except for those students who meet the criteria for the Alternative Performance Task Assessment (APTA). In addition, effective with the 2008-2009 school year, all grade 11 students will be required to take the ACT.
    Initiatives to improve the senior year Effective with the 2008-2009 school year, all high school students must be fully enrolled in a full day of high school and/or college credit bearing courses. It is recommended that students complete a senior project to add rigor and relevance to the senior year.
    Initiatives to improve the ninth grade year

    Outreach (state-funded initiatives to ensure students are well-prepared) The state colleges and universities with the K-12 schools must conduct college awareness programs that reach students from the elementary grades through high school. The programs provide opportunities to visit the college, meet faculty, and learn the importance of motivation and achieving academic excellence. Students in the eighth grade are encouraged to take the academic core courses during their high school years.
    Initiatives that require students to create long-term plans An Individualized Student Transition Plan (hereinafter ISTP) covering grades 9-12 and the first year beyond graduation from high school is developed for every student in consultation with her/his parents/guardian and school counselor or advisor. During the 8th grade year, each student's ISTP plan is developed for grades 9 and 10. The ISTP is based upon previous career awareness, exploration activities, and a review of the student's ACT EXPLORE results. The 8th grade guidance/advisement program will focus on teaching students and their parents to read the ACT EXPLORE student reports so that they may understand how to use the information provided within the Educational Planning and Assessment System (hereinafter EPAS) reports to transition to the level of performance required to meet the student’s educational goals. Each student, in consultation with his or her parents/guardian and school counselor or advisor, selects a broad career cluster for exploration in grades nine and ten and develops the ISTP based upon the choice of a career cluster. The student shall designate an educational pathway (professional or skilled) at this time. The student may amend his/her ISTP at the end of any semester. For an eligible gifted student, a four-year education plan is developed during the 8th grade year by an IEP Team. The four-year education plan replaces the ISTP and includes the honors and Advanced Placement (hereinafter AP) and/or (International Baccalaureate (hereinafter IB) classes that must be provided for the student in grades 9-12. For eligible students with disabilities the ISTP is developed during the 8th grade by an IEP Team. The parent(s)/guardian and student each sign and receive a copy of the ISTP. Students will designate a concentration by the end of their 10th grade year."
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts

    Sources Subsidized testing fees: W. VA. CODE ST. R. § 126-42-5
    Senior year initiatives: W. VA. CODE ST. R. § 126-42-5
    Outreach: W. VA. CODE ST. R. § 133-24-3
    Long term plans: W. VA. CODE ST. R. § 126-42-5

    Wisconsin
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools

    Wyoming
    State Initiatives to Improve High Schools
    State subsidizes testing fees for the ACT, SAT, PLAN, PSAT, etc. The ACT or WorkKeys is required for 11th graders.
    State requires or authorizes the use of e-transcripts As of 2008, Wyoming is in the process of developing e-transcripts through the Wyoming Transcript Center. It is not clear as of July 2008 whether all high schools and public postsecondary institutions will be required to use e-transcripts, or if they will be simply optional.
    Sources Subsidized testing fees: WYO. STAT. ANN. § 21-2-202(a)(xxx)
    E-transcript: Power Point presentation, "1+1=3: How Wyoming Is Achieving Results by Combining eTranscripts and a New State Scholarship Program," July 2007

    Federal Law

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