By JOSH THALL
Capital News Service
LANSING — Educators are working to make sure students are prepared to take the SAT when it becomes the new state test for high school juniors, and that colleges are ready to evaluate the results. Early this year, Michigan awarded the College Board a $17.1 million three-year contract for the SAT to be the state-administered college entrance exam starting in 2016, replacing the long-used ACT. The move was in-part a money saving decision, as the bid from the College Board was over $15 million less than the bid from the ACT over the three year period. At the same time the state is making the switch, the SAT is being reinvented to align better with the national Common Core standards Michigan has adopted for its education system. College admissions officials said the switch will not dramatically affect they way applicants are judged; many schools have accepted both ACT and SAT scores for years and rely on other measures as well.
By BROOKE KANSIER
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan is making flexible college credit options a priority for high school students around the state. College preparation is rising in importance among school districts and state government alike, as Gov. Rick Snyder emphasized in his State of the State Address. Students’ transition from high school to college needs to be more efficient, Snyder said, “making it easy for them to get assistance, understanding of where that career counseling is, where those great tech opportunities are, how to do it faster, and better and less expensively.”
According to Brian Barber of the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, the high school-to-college transition happens most successfully through programs like dual enrollment and “middle college” options. These programs have seen huge growth in the last decade, with high schools and colleges throughout the state including more programs each year. “Michigan is becoming a leader in trying to open up access to postsecondary options, and trying to create a seamless transition,” Barber said.