The Problem of College Readiness

Edited by William G. Tierney & Julia C. Duncheon

Subjects: Education, Higher Education, Education Policy And Leadership, Educational Research
Paperback : 9781438457246, 232 pages, January 2016
Hardcover : 9781438457239, 232 pages, May 2015

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Part I. Introduction
1. The Problem of College Readiness
Julia C. Duncheon
2. The Roots of College Readiness: An Old Problem with New Complexities
Daniel J. Almeida
3. The Challenge of the Least Ready: A Historical Perspective
Bryan Adán Rodríguez

Part II. Using Theory, Policy, and Practice to Analyze a State Response
4. College Readiness and Low Income Youth: The Role of Social Capital in Acquiring College Knowledge
Daniel J. Almeida
5. The Early Assessment Program: Is Early Notification Enough?
Lisa D. Garcia
6. Making Sense of Contested Terrain: Writing Remediation, Faculty Perspectives, and the Challenge of Implementation
Julia C. Duncheon
7. On the Path to Completion: Exploring how higher Education Policy Influences the Least Ready College Students
Bryan Adán Rodríguez
Part III. Conclusion
8. The Way Forward: Looking Back
William G. Tierney

Examines how states, schools, and postsecondary institutions might best help improve college readiness and completion.


Though more students are entering college, many drop out, especially those who are low income and/or of color. To address this problem, educational stakeholders have focused on the concept of "college readiness," or the preparation a student needs to succeed in college. However, what it means to be college ready and how to help more students become ready are questions without clear answers. By way of historical and contemporary analyses, this book uses California as a case study to demonstrate how the state has endeavored to make postsecondary opportunity accessible for all students. The contributors also explore the challenges that remain and address what states and schools can do to improve college readiness and completion.

William G. Tierney is Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education at the University of Southern California and the editor of many books, including Governance and the Public Good; Preparing for College: Nine Elements of Effective Outreach (with Zoe B. Corwin and Julia E. Colyar); Increasing Access to College: Extending Possibilities for All Students (with Linda Serra Hagedorn); and Faculty Work in Schools of Education: Rethinking Roles and Rewards for the Twenty-first Century, all published by SUNY Press. Julia C. Duncheon is a doctoral candidate in urban education policy at the University of Southern California.


"This book adds important information to the debates and discussions around this critical topic." — Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner, coeditor of Understanding Minority-Serving Institutions