The “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) requires reporting of an indicator to predict high school graduate performance in post-secondary training or the workforce. This indicator should represent proficiency beyond academics. The TN Ready Graduate indicator represents a holistic, well-rounded education, and to meet this requirement, students must fulfill at least one of the following criteria:
- Earn a composite score of 21 or higher on the ACT (or 1060 or higher on the SAT)
- Complete four early post-secondary opportunities (EPSOs)
- Complete two EPSOs + earn an industry certification
- Complete two EPSOs + earn a score of military readiness, 31 or higher, on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT)
Early Post-Secondary Opportunities (EPSO)
Research has shown that on Early Post-Secondary Opportunities improve the readiness and success rates for students' post-high school graduation in the workforce or post-secondary or training programs. Early post-secondary opportunities allow students to:
- earn post-secondary credits while in high school;
- become familiar with post-secondary rigor and expectations;
- develop confidence and skills for success in post-secondary learning and workforce;
- make informed post-secondary and career decisions;
- decrease the time and cost of completing a certificate or degree.
Smith County Schools offer students the following opportunities to earn EPSOs:
- Dual enrollment DE) is a post- secondary course, taught either at the post-secondary institution or at the high school, by post-secondary faculty or credentialed adjunct faculty. Dual enrollment provides college credit at the school where the course was completed but may also transfer to other colleges.
- Local dual credit (LDC) is a high school course aligned to a local post-secondary institution’s course and exam. LDC earned college credit is only valid at the college designated.
- State wide dual credit (SDC) classes are college- level courses taught at the high school level by trained high school teachers. SDC earned is valid only to state Tennessee colleges.
- Industry certifications (IC) are earned through secondary and post-secondary career and technical education programs and courses.
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams can be taken to assess mastery of post-secondary level material acquired in a variety of ways, including through general academic instructions, significant independent study or extracurricular work. CLEP credit is widely accepted at many postsecondary institutions.