Florida “Ahead of the Curve” in Preparing Students for College

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Tallahassee, Fla., December 6, 2012 – A policy report from Jobs for the Future (JFF) recognizes Florida for its efforts in developmental education innovation. The report outlines Florida’s participation in and lessons learned from the Developmental Education Initiative, a national program designed to improve the success of academically underprepared students who enter community colleges.

“The Florida College System continues to explore institutional strategies and state policies that can improve success outcomes for students who enroll in our system and test into developmental education,” said Randy Hanna, Chancellor of the Florida College System. “We are committed to meeting the needs of all students to help them succeed in college-level courses and beyond.”

The report identifies Florida’s Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) as a major step forward for the nation in assessment and placement innovation. The PERT is a customized placement test based on Florida’s competencies for college readiness. In addition to being administered to students seeking admission to the Florida College System, it is also given to 11th grade students to evaluate their preparedness for college-level work.

Michael Collins, Associate Vice President for Postsecondary State Policy at JFF, acknowledged Florida as a leader in developmental education. “The Florida College System, with whom JFF has had a long and productive partnership, was a true exemplar for the other states in the Developmental Education Initiative, particularly in the areas of data and performance measurement, and assessment and placement. JFF looks forward to the Florida College System’s continued leadership in the next initiative in which we are partnering – Completion by Design.”

Florida is not stopping there. In October, Florida Department of Education’s Division of Florida Colleges hosted the Developmental Education Summit at St. Petersburg College. The summit brought together state and national experts, policy makers, educators, and administrators to discuss the state of developmental education and identify success strategies for Florida’s future.

“We are pleased to be recognized by Jobs for the Future for our efforts to improve student success through developmental education innovation,” added Chancellor Hanna. “But our work is not done. We are continually exploring strategies and policies to better help students become prepared for college.”

To read the report, please visit Ahead of the Curve.


About the Florida Department of Education: The department’s mission is to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient education system by providing them the chance to expand their knowledge and skills through world-class learning opportunities. Serving more than 3.5 million students, 4,200 public schools, 28 colleges, 188,000 teachers, 47,000 college professors and administrators, and 318,000 full-time staff throughout the state, the department enhances the economic self-sufficiency of Floridians through programs and services geared toward college, workforce education, job-specific skills, and career development. Florida ranks first in the nation for teacher quality, first in the nation in advanced placement participation, and first in the southern region for graduation rate and degrees awarded by the Florida College System. For more information, visit www.fldoe.org.

About The Florida College System: Florida’s colleges remain the primary point of access to higher education in Florida, with 66 percent of the state’s high school graduates pursuing postsecondary education beginning at a Florida college, and 82 percent of freshman and sophomore minority students in public higher education attending one of Florida’s 28 colleges. To learn more about The Florida College System, visit http://www.fldoe.org/cc/.


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