CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- While many West Virginia high schools are focusing more than ever on college preparedness, there's still a lot of work to be done, according to a report by the state Higher Education Policy Commission.
Of the more than 8,000 West Virginia high school graduates who enrolled in a public college last year, only 18 percent scored at or above the ACT benchmark scores for all subjects.
In addition, nearly 25 percent of the state's college freshman had to enroll in at least one developmental course in their first semester, while nearly 70 percent of freshman at in-state community colleges signed up for the beginner courses.
The HEPC and the state Council for Community and Technical College Education recently collaborated with the state Department of Education to create programs that help secondary students prepare for the academic rigor of college-level coursework. Those programs include implementing college-prep-type transition courses and a new data system that better tracks students' needs.
"Through increased cooperation with the Department of Education, both the two- and four-year postsecondary systems seek to strengthen the state's education pipeline, ultimately leading to seamless education pathways and increased student success at the postsecondary level," HEPC Chancellor Paul Hill told the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability. "Although positive progress has been made to improve the student transition to West Virginia's public institutions, challenges remain."
Last year, more than 90 percent of students who had a high school GPA of 3.0 or above were still in college by their spring semester, as compared to about 70 percent who had a 2.9 or lower GPA.
Students who had at least a 3.0 high school GPA also proved to have a higher GPA in college.