An analysis of college readiness indicators to incorporate in the Academic Performance Index

A large proportion of high school graduates are not prepared for college-level coursework and require remediation courses once they start college. With the passage of Senate Bill 1458, California has the opportunity to incorporate new college readiness indicators into its accountability system, the Academic Performance Index (API).This thesis was written to help state policymakers determine which additional indicators to include. Potential college readiness indicators were identified based on what California and other states are doing to measure for college readiness, along with what research has found to predict college readiness. College readiness indicators up for consideration had to have a current data source in order to be implemented by the 2015-16 deadline. Overall, there were seven identified college readiness indicators. Those were: advanced coursework, the Early Assessment Program (EAP), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), dual enrollment (DE), the SAT, and the ACT. A Criteria-Alternative Matrix (CAM) analysis was used to compare the seven identified college readiness indicators. Using the criteria of supported by research, technical feasibility, cost-efficiency, equity, and political feasibility, the college readiness indicators advanced coursework, the EAP, AP, and DE ranked the highest. An outline on how the identified college readiness indicators could be incorporated into the API is provided. Finally, this thesis concludes with a discussion on the policy implications of including the identified indicators into the API, limits of this thesis, and opportunities for future research.