tc columbia

English Transition Courses in Context: Preparing Students for College Success

By: Sarah Griffin
English Transition Courses in Context: Preparing Students for College Success

Transition curricula are courses, learning modules, or online tutorials typically developed jointly by secondary and postsecondary faculty and offered no later than 12th grade to students at risk of being placed into remedial math or English programs in college. Based on interviews and other data, this brief describes key elements of English transition curricula in seven states. In discussing six trends that are salient in the development and implementation of transition curricula, the brief also highlights the different ways that this intervention may serve to help prepare students for college.

English transition curricula are usually aligned to rigorous K-12 content standards and tend to emphasize college-level writing skills more than other content areas. Some transition curricula also incorporate contextualized learning, teach nonacademic skills that are valuable for the college setting, and use instructional approaches that are designed to engage students deeply in course material that is relevant to their lives. In some cases, transition curricula may also be used along with other college readiness interventions, such as dual enrollment programs.