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2011 State Report

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Illinois Community College System
High School to College Success Reports


This web portal contains the statewide Illinois High School to College Success Report as well as individual community college reports. Production of these reports is a joint initiative of the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois State Board of Education, and Illinois Board of Higher Education in partnership with ACT, Inc. The reports are an effort to increase transparency, improve alignment, and smooth transitions across educational levels. High School to College Success Reports provide data and information to inform further discussions and collaborations among secondary and postsecondary educators, parents and stakeholders, and policymakers to further elevate Illinois student achievement.

If you encounter technical problems with the website contact Chris Russell at Chris.J.Russell@Illinois.gov.
If you have other questions about the project contact Nathan Wilson at Nathan.Wilson@Illinois.gov or Brian Durham at Brian.Durham@Illinois.gov.

Several questions appear below that provide background that should be read before reviewing the reports.

What students are included in the High School to College Success Reports on this web portal?

2011 High School to College Success Report

  • ACT-tested students in 2006-2008 public high school graduating classes (Prairie State Achievement Exam) who

  • Enrolled first-time, full-time at an Illinois public community college in the fall of 2006-2008 (FY2007-2009).

2012 High School to College Success Report
  • ACT-tested students in 2008-2010 public high school graduating classes (Prairie State Achievement Exam) who

  • Enrolled first-time, full-time at an Illinois public community college in the fall of 2008-2010 (FY2009-2011).

2013 High School to College Success Report
  • ACT-tested students in 2009-2011 public high school graduating classes (Prairie State Achievement Exam) who

  • Enrolled first-time, full-time at an Illinois public community college in the fall of 2009-2011(FY2010-2012).
Is there another website containing public university High School to College Success Reports?
  • Yes. A separate website contains information about the same group of recent high school graduates who continued their studies full-time at an Illinois public four-year university. http://www.ibhe.state.il.us/HSCSR/default.htm


Were similar reports generated that focus on the specific high schools?
  • Yes. A separate website contains reports about the same group of recent high school graduates based on the specific high school the student graduated from. Individual public high school focused reports. Each school's report has been integrated into the larger website and is posted to the high school profile page. On the main page - http://iirc.niu.edu/ Search by School by furnishing the name of the high school of interest. On the Profile Page that opens, click on the hyperlink above the county map for a copy of the report (upper right).


What students are not included in any of the High School to College Success Reports?
  • Private high school graduates are not included in the reports.

  • Public high school graduates enrolling in Illinois private non-profit and private for profit colleges and universities are not included in the reports.
  • Public high school graduates enrolling in out-of-state colleges and universities.


How are community colleges different than public universities in terms of admission requirements? How does that impact remedial\developmental enrollments?
  • Community colleges are open admissions institutions and welcome individuals who are fully prepared for college level work as well as those needing to strengthen their foundational academic skills (e.g., math, reading, writing) to be successful in college level courses. The mission of the Illinois Community College System includes providing access to higher education. Community colleges have been designated as the lead institutions for delivering remedial\developmental education in Illinois. Community college students in transfer programs take placement exams to help determine the most appropriate math or English courses to enroll in. Entering students with ACT exam scores above specified levels are eligible to enter college level math and English courses without further testing.

  • Universities are selective admission institutions that require a specific level of academic preparation before a student is accepted. Admission criteria varies across Illinois public universities from less selective to highly selective. The individual university admission offices provide information about the typical qualifications for their entering students. Fewer university students require remediation largely because individuals whose academic skills are the weakest typically would not be admitted to a public university.

  • Illinois is fortunate to have a diverse higher education system designed to serve students with varied levels of academic preparation.


What is included in the High School to College Success Reports on this web portal?

  • Student performance (Grade Point Average\GPA) at a 2-year public community college.

  • How local students performed compared to state average.

  • College Readiness Benchmark Scores by subject area statewide and local.

  • Aggregate data on enrolled students' performance in college.

  • Data broken down by high school in the appendices.

  • Student performance by high school course sequence patterns in math and science.

  • Average first year GPAs by ACT College Readiness Standards score ranges.

  • Student performance in credit bearing and developmental courses.

  • Persistence from year one to year two in postsecondary education overall and persistence at the same institution.


Why combine three (3) years worth of data to produce High School to College Success Reports?
  • Multiple years worth of data are combined to allow more of the small high schools in Illinois to receive a report. The minimum cell size for reports is ten (10).


What general statements can be made about the High School to College Success Reports?


  • Overall Illinois high school graduates who took a college preparatory curriculum performed better on the ACT exam, earned higher grades in first-year courses at community colleges and were less likely to placement test into developmental courses, on average, than those who did not.

  • These findings point to the importance of taking a core college preparatory curriculum in high school (minimally four years of English and three years each of mathematics, science, and social studies) in helping students succeed in first-year college coursework.

  • To position themselves for success in college and in the workforce, all high school students should take college-preparatory courses and follow a rigorous college-oriented curriculum.

  • Illinois graduates who took the recommended core curriculum were more likely than those who did not, to earn a college freshman grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 or above in both mathematics and science - the two subject areas in which students are least likely to show college readiness on the ACT exam. Additionally, students who tested into developmental courses generally earned lower grades than students overall in both high school and college.

  • The report compared scores earned on the ACT exam to grades earned in first-year college courses among Illinois public high school graduates who took the Prairie State Achievement Exam and went on to enroll full-time at public community colleges and four-year universities and colleges in Illinois.


We acknowledge ACT, Inc., the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois State Board of Education, and Illinois Board of Higher Education for contributing information that has been used to create these introductory materials.