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Analyzing Evidence of College Readiness: A Tri-Level Empirical and Conceptual Framework

Lambrina Kless, James Soland, and Maribel Santiago
Publication Date: 
January, 2013

Research draws a distinction between college eligibility and college readiness. For example, a student may graduate high school with sufficient credits to enroll in a postsecondary institution, but still lack the academic skills, study habits, and college knowledge to succeed. Previous reviews of research on college readiness systems highlight individual-level indicators of whether a student is on track to be ready for college. However, focusing on individual students omits a crucial research finding: the signals and supports that affect students’ college readiness, such as course availability, college going culture, and academic resources, operate at setting and system levels. Indicators at these two levels, which include schools, districts, and states, provide the information educators need to inform responses to readiness indicators at the individual level. In this literature review, the authors synthesize findings on college readiness into a tri-level indicator system, which offers a proactive strategy to support students rather than just a reactive model to predict risk of dropout.

Publication Type: 
Literature Review
Suggested citation: 

Kless, L., Soland, J., and Santiago, M. (2013). Analyzing Evidence of College Readiness: A Tri-Level Empirical & Conceptual Framework. (Working Paper). Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities.

Policy area: 
College, Career, and Civic Readiness