Academic rigor is a term typically identified with high school curriculum and instruction, and success of high school students in a post secondary learning environment. Research around academic rigor has demonstrated that students who experience a rigorous curriculum in high school are more likely to persist and graduate from a post secondary institution regardless of other factors such as first-generation college status or sociology-economic status. In addition, high school students who experienced a curriculum that was academically rigorous held higher GPAs in their post secondary environment.
Currently, academic rigor is being linked to US community colleges which have touted for years an open-door policy for admittance, but have struggled with balancing unrealistic student expectations and ill-prepared students with academic rigor.
The purpose of the attached paper is to discuss academic rigor and to identify best practices used at the community and technical college level to increase rigor across programs. It is hoped that this paper, Academic Rigor, and accompanying Powerpoint presentation will spur faculty conversations regarding academic rigor and student learning assessment at University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College.