Want to Make College Readiness Programs More Effective?

Want to Make College Readiness Programs More Effective?

Many widely used high school transition programs have mixed success in improving college readiness, according to a new report from the Brookings Institute, High school transition programs have mixed success in improving college readiness

The typical college readiness program begins in 11th grade and consists of a combination of a screening test, a transition curriculum, and counseling.  Oftentimes, college readiness programs encourage students to take remedial math and English courses once they get to college. 

New High School Transition Interventions Are Required

If high school transition interventions are going to move the needle, they need to expand, not substitute, learning opportunities for students who need help, according to the report’s authors.

With these thoughts in mind, and after multiple conversations with Merit Software college and high school faculty customers, several years ago Merit began to revamp its higher-level curriculum software products for just this purpose.  

Questions we asked ourselves were: How can we minimize the chances a college student will need to pay several hundred dollars to take a non-credit remedial course?   Why should college readiness programs begin in 11th grade?  How can students have opportunities to learn essential skills outside of the classroom – when they want and when they need to?  

What Merit Can Do to Improve College Readiness?

As a result of these questions, Merit launched several new tools to improve the odds of college enrollment and completion.  They are flexible and targeted yet are produced in the typical Merit Software style of incorporating built-in feedback and automatic progress monitoring.  The new tools are more of a resource than tutoring tools.  They can be used along side any high school or college English curriculum.

Merit is in the process of deploying the new activities.  Several colleges have already begun to use the new Merit college readiness resources.  High school teachers (and other stakeholders) can have 100% confidence a student is ready for college work if a student can successfully use the modules. Students will have greater confidence in their abilities to complete college level material.   The new activities cover

  • thesis statement building,
  • three types of argumentative essays (Rogerian, Aristotelian, and Toulmin)
  • 62 units of college-level grammar exercises in 10 key concepts (including run-on sentences, misplaced modifiers, and parallel structure)
  • MLA plagiarism and in-text citation. 


Argument Punch
Grammar Rules and Review – Parallel Structure
MLA Plagiarism – Screenshot with Feedback
MLA In-Text Citation – Screenshot with Feedback:


Want to find out how Merit Software’s college readiness programs can help you?  Schedule a personal consultation with Merit today.

About Merit Software

Since 1983, Merit Software has been producing educational software that addresses the core competencies that students need to succeed with a focus on strengthening reading and communication skills. Merit Software’s innovative learning programs include context-sensitive tutorials providing real-world student instruction and convenient records management features to aid teachers, tutors, parents, and self-learners.  Visit https://www.meritsoftware.com to learn more.

Want to Make College Readiness Programs More Effective?
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