College and Professional Career Ready

A. College and Professional Career Ready means:

A student is College and Professional Career Ready if they are on track to or already meet the Minimum Admission Requirements for attending 4-year North Carolina colleges or Community College (NCCC). In terms of data, this means:

4-year colleges:

  • scoring a composite of 17 or higher on the ACT
  • weighted GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Math I, Math II, Math III, and one other from a specific list (MathCreditOptions-Policy-2.16.17)
  • ACT Math subscale of 22 and English 18 indicates no need for remediation
  • Other required courses, such as foreign languages

Note that meeting the Minimum Admission Requirements (MAR)s does not ensure being admitted. This federal website (click here) is a good place to get information about the kind of students that are admitted at specific colleges. (click here) is also a good place to get information about colleges.

Community Colleges

  • unweighted GPA of 2.6 and same math classes as those required for the 4-year colleges


  • ACT Math subscale of 22 and English 18


  • Take and pass up to 8 math and 3 English modules.

A large percentage of North Carolina students do not meet the requirements of GPA or the ACT Math score, and have to take a test called the DAP.(click here). Some students also need to take the diagnostic test for English, but math is much more common. Moving forward, high school seniors who have not met the requirements to enroll in the degree or certificate programs at Community Colleges will have the opportunity to remediate their deficiencies while in high school (click here).

B. If a student completes four rigorous math courses in high school, are they likely to need remedial developmental math courses at college?

Yes. The majority of students complete Math I, Math II, Math III, and one more and then score below 22 on the Math ACT section.

On page 34 of the Facts and Figures provided by Best-NC, we see that although

  • more than 95% of all high school graduates have successfully passed Math III (the measure of rigor on the school report cards), and most have taken a fourth math, yet
  • only 30% score 22 or higher on the math ACT section.

The students who score less than 22 who do not have the GPA requirement cannot complete Community College programs without first passing development math tests/classes. Currently, many students in career path Community College programs take developmental math courses before they can complete the required math for their program. This can add years to the time needed to complete the programs.

How can students know if they are not on track, and might not be able to compete a career path program:

  • Look at the EVAAS prediction to ACT score
  • Look at pre-ACT subscale scores (They are the same scale as ACT).

How can students get on track if they are off?

  • If a few points below the benchmarks on the pre-ACT or ACT, or an EVAAS prediction to Level 4 on Math I EOC of 70%+, a rigorous math course is more likely to raise math achievement. Click here to read about the results when Edstar helped a principal use EVAAS to identify students to more to more rigorous math classes.
  • Schools may have ACT prep courses, online ACT prep (which may be free for low-income students) can help raise scores.
  • Students who are far below the benchmarks may need tutoring, extra help, and the slower-paced math courses.

C. Our Community Colleges have open enrollment. Does this mean that any high school graduate is qualified to complete a degree program, such as welding, or computer programming? Explain.

Students can enroll in and take courses, but if they don’t meet the admission requirements, they will not be able to complete career-path programs if they need to first take and pass remedial developmental math or English courses. The NCTOWER website provides information that can be used to asses whether students are likely to complete their programs. Often, the extra time or lack of completion is due to needing a lot of remedial math before qualifying to enroll in required math courses in the career path programs.

D. An average student is likely to benefit from the Foundations of Math I course.

No. Foundations of Math courses are for below-average students, in general. Research shows average students benefit from more rigorous courses.

What EVASS score would tell us whether a student is likely to score proficient if they take Math I/Algebra I in middle school?

An EVAAS projection of 70% or greater to scoring Level 4 on the Math I EOC.

Relevant research follows:

  • A North Carolina study examined course-taking patterns among eighth-grade students who scored at or above grade level on math EOG test. Among these students, those who enrolled in eighth-grade Algebra were three times more likely to take chemistry and physics in high school compared with the students who waited to enroll in ninth-grade Algebra. Among the students who scored Level III (at grade level), the students who enrolled in eighth-grade Algebra were 55 times more likely to take chemistry and physics in high school (SAS Institution, Inc., 2009).


  • A North Carolina study which examined the success rates of students who had eighth-grade Algebra I followed by Algebra II in ninth grade, and who had a 70% or greater probability of success going into eighth grade Algebra, 92% scored Level III or IV (at or above grade level) on their End of Course tests for Algebra II. The other 8% were in classrooms of Algebra II teachers who profile in the bottom 40% statewide for teacher effectiveness (SAS Institution, Inc., 2009).


  • Completion of challenging high school curriculum, more so than class rank, GPA, and test scores, remains as the greatest indicator of successfully earning a bachelor’s degree.  The impact is even greater for Black and Latino students than any other group.  In one study, 95% of the students who earned bachelor’s degrees were at minimum enrolled in:
  •       75 units (years) of English and math, with the highest level of math reaching calculus, pre-calculus or trigonometry
  •       5 units of science or more than 2 units of core lab science (biology, chemistry and physics)
  •       More than 2 units of foreign languages and history/social sciences
  •       One or more units of computer sciences
  •       More than one Advanced Placement (AP) course  (Adelman, 2006)


  • Although gifted programs are usually reserved for only the top-scoring students, in North Carolina, the AIG program serves about 25% of students, including many who have demonstrated average academic performance (Cratty, 2014).

If you would like to better understand how to interpret North Carolina education data and use it to promote success, and to prepare students to be College and Career ready, we have written a book to help parents and educators:

For high school students or their advocates

For all K-12