Nationwide, surveys show that many high school graduates do not meet employers' standards in a variety of academic areas, as well as in employability skills such as attendance, teamwork and collaboration, and work habits.
In South Dakota, we know that 28 percent of students who enter our public universities need to complete some sort of remedial work prior to taking college-level courses in English and math. (South Dakota High School to College Transition Report, 2011)
What does this tell us? As a state, we need to continue our focus on connecting the secondary school experience with postsecondary, both two-year and four-year institutions, as well as the world of work.
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
Setting expectations for college and career readiness
• Beginning in school year 2014-15, South Dakota will have a new state assessment, called Smarter Balanced assessment which will measure mastery of standards designed to indicate a student’s college and career readiness.
Providing remediation opportunities in high school
• South Dakota is offering high school students the opportunity to engage in remediation before entering postsecondary.
• This ensures that students are ready for postsecondary work when they do arrive on campus, and it reduces time and money spent on remedial work, which is costly at the postsecondary level.
Focusing on academic and career planning
• The Department of Education continues to expand SDMyLife, an online academic and career planning resource for middle and high school students.
• South Dakota is piloting the National Career Readiness Certificate, an assessment of workplace skills.
• South Dakota is expanding Advanced Placement opportunities available via the SD Virtual School
Measuring college and career readiness through accountability system
• Beginning in 2014-15, the state’s accountability system will include a measure of career readiness; currently, the measure focuses solely on college readiness.
For additional information, contact the South Dakota Department of Education
at (605) 773-3134.