In 2009, Helios Education Foundation began funding the administration of the ACT exam to all juniors in eight Arizona school districts. Over the years, this initiative has evolved into our College Knowing and Going Initiative which focuses on ensuring students are taking the necessary steps to pursue postsecondary education. Under this initiative, Helios partners with 18 school districts to provide college readiness activities.
In 2017, the Legislature authorized the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education to conduct a college readiness pilot program and appropriated $250,000 for Arizona public school juniors to take the ACT or the SAT test in the spring of 2018. In addition to these state funds and College Knowing and Going resources from Helios Education Foundation, Governor Ducey provided funds to increase the number of juniors taking the tests. By combining the results of all of these separately funded test groups, the state was able to produce a statistically relevant outcomes-based report designed for policymakers to assess the value of a statewide administration of a college readiness examination.
We hope that policy makers and educational leaders will use the findings from this report to promote strategies and interventions designed to increase the postsecondary attainment for all Arizonans.