College Readiness

Core to CollegePreparing Students for College Readiness and Success fosters partnerships to improve college readiness and increase rates of enrollment and graduation. Higher education and K-12 entities work together, using the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and assessments, to establish a statewide definition of college readiness. Through Core to College partnerships, K-12 teachers and college faculty are jointly developing Bridge to College Math and English transition courses, which will help 12th grade students prepare for college coursework. For more information, view this issue brief on college readiness and transition courses.

Smarter Balanced Assessments and College Placement

Press release and charts showing expected performance of Washington students

Smarter Balanced tests measure student achievement of grade-specific Common Core State Standards. All of Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges and 6 public baccalaureate institutions have agreed to use the Smarter Balanced 11th grade assessment in postsecondary placement.

For students enrolling directly after high school graduation, Smarter Balanced 11th grade scores of 3 or 4:

  • Offer the opportunity to place into college-level courses without remediation or additional placement testing.
  • Apply to placement considerations at public two- and four-year institutions in Washington.

This agreement is in effect for the graduating classes of 2016 through 2018. Then the agreement will be reviewed and adjusted, if necessary, based on student performance data.

Bridge to College Courses
The Bridge to College courses for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics are fourth-year (senior) courses designed for students scoring a Level 2 on the spring Smarter Balanced high school (11th grade) assessment. Students who earn a “B” or better in the Bridge Course are eligible to enter credit-bearing coursework in college, exempting them from remedial coursework. Read the full details on the Bridge to College Courses.

  • Q & A about Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessments. 
  • Community and technical colleges' agreement on use of Smarter Balanced 11th grade assessments. 
  • Joint press release regarding baccalaureate institutions and community and technical colleges' agreements on the use of the 11th grade Smarter Balanced assessments.