Clear Pathways to Post-secondary Success

EdQuest Georgia


Policies must support career pathways and career tech programs within schools, college preparation, and ways to ensure success in colleges and/ or careers for all public education students.

Key goals of the public education system are to help students plan for their next steps in life and to prepare them for college and careers. It is important for school systems to offer students clear pathways for post-secondary success. Over time, the needs of the workforce change, and the education system must stay abreast of these changes to provide students with their best chance for success. To ensure that Georgia continues to have a prepared workforce and economic opportunities for all, the state must have policies in place that support career education and college preparation, and innovative programs that promote and ensure post-secondary achievement.

Two-Page Policy Summary, Updated Aug. 2020

Review of Georgia Landscape


These are a collection of indicators that reflect the state of Georgia students with regard to being college and career ready, making postsecondary progress, receiving financial aid, and completing postsecondary degrees or credentials.

Georgia Post-Secondary Success Data – By the Numbers

Readiness for College and Career

  • 80% of high school graduates completed a CTAE pathway, advanced academic pathway, IB career-related program, or fine arts or world language pathway
  • 36,177 high school students earned an industry credential in FY 2018


Post-Secondary Progress – High School Graduating Class of 2016

  • 63% enrolled in a post-secondary institution
  • 10% required remediation in English
  • 19% required remediation in math
  • 59% were still enrolled or earned a post-secondary credential in 2016 (two years)


Financial Aid

  • 37% of students enrolled in a Bachelor’s (B.A.) program at the University System of Georgia received the HOPE Scholarship in 2020
  • 13% of students enrolled in a Bachelors (B.A.) program at the University System of Georgia received the Zell Miller Scholarship

Postsecondary Progress

High School Graduating Class of 2014

  • 68% enrolled in postsecondary institution
  • 12% required remediation in English
  • 21% required remediation in Math
  • 63% still enrolled or earned a postsecondary credential in 2016 (2 years)

Postsecondary Enrollment and Progress from High School Graduation | All Georgia High Schools, Class of 2014

Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, High School Graduate Outcomes Report, found at

Need-Based State Grant Aid as a Percentage of Total Undergraduate State Grant Aid 2017-2018

College Board. (2019). Trends in Student Aid 2016. New York: College Board.

Financial Aid

  • 37% of students enrolled in a Bachelor’s (B.A.) program at the University System of Georgia received the HOPE Scholarship in 2020
  • 13% of students enrolled in a Bachelors (B.A.) program at the University System of Georgia received the Zell Miller Scholarship
  • Georgia ranks last in the nation in terms of need-based grant aid as a percentage of total undergraduate state grant aid


National and Regional Resources


  • National Conference of State Legislatures – Higher Education
    • The NCSL website covers student loan debt, tuition policy, student success and access, funding and affordability, and higher education workforce connections.


  • Lumina Foundation – State Policy Priorities
    • Lumina’s three-point higher education policy agenda reflects the shifts in state policy needed to increase the percentage of adults with meaningful post-secondary credentials. Included under each point are specific evidence-based policies. These policies provide clear, detailed steps to increase higher education attainment, while also maintaining the flexibility to respond to unique conditions and the needs of each state. They are designed as a guidepost, not a checklist, for states looking to identify and implement the policies best suited to drive their higher education reform needs.



  • Southern Regional Education Board – Advanced Career is the culmination of years of work by states and the nation’s largest school improvement network at SREB. The result is turnkey pathways with everything a school needs to be sure they work, from curriculum to assessments to extensive training and support for teachers.


  • National Skills Coalition National Skills Coalition is a broad-based coalition working toward a vision of an America that grows its economy by investing in its people so that every worker and every industry has the skills to compete and prosper. The organization engages in organizing, advocacy, and communications to advance state and federal policies that support these goals – policies that are based on the on-the-ground expertise of our members.




Georgia Partnerships and Initiatives


  • Georgia Competitiveness Initiative
    • This initiative is bringing state government and the business community together at the request of Governor Nathan Deal to develop a long-term strategy for economic development.


Community Partnership Models


  • Pathways to Prosperity
    • In 2013, Georgia became a member of the Pathways to Prosperity Network, a collaboration of member states, the Boston-based nonprofit Jobs for the Future, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Pathways to Prosperity Network seeks to ensure that many more young people complete high school and attain post-secondary credentials with value in the labor market. Each participating state is engaging educators and employers in building a system of grades nine to 14 career pathways, combining high school and community college, that launches young people into initial careers while leaving open the prospect of further education. In Georgia, the Pathways to Prosperity work is being led by a state-level cross-agency team that includes the Georgia Department of Education, the TCSG, the USG, and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.


  • Carrollton–Carroll County Education Collaborative (CCEC)
    • Oak Mountain Academy, Carrollton City, and Carroll County Schools work together with the University of West Georgia and West Georgia Technical College and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce to get students through high school and possibly into a two-year or four-year college.


  • Southwire 12 for Life
    • To decrease the school dropout rate, Southwire partnered with Carroll County Schools and Florence City Schools in Alabama to create 12 for Life. This program places at-risk students in real jobs in Southwire that allow them to both earn school credit and earn money for their work. Students work a shift in the Southwire plant for half the day and take classes in a traditional school setting for the other half. Participants also benefit from instruction on the job and a mentoring program with Southwire employees.


  • Gulfstream/ Chatham County
    • Two programs in Chatham County and the surrounding area serve students through a partnership with Gulfstream that actively recruits high school students from the area for its Youth Apprenticeship Program, and from Chatham County Schools for the High School Explorer Post Program. In the Youth Apprenticeship Program, students link school-based learning with actual business experience in highly skilled occupations. In the High School Explorer Post Program, students attend monthly meetings to learn about career paths, make professional contacts, and acquire skills they would need to pursue a career in aviation.


  • Siemens AG/ Forsyth County Schools
    • As a result of Georgia’s Global Workforce Initiative, Forsyth County developed a thriving program focused on a manufacturing career pathway through a partnership with Siemens. At the end of the four-year program, student participants earn both their diploma and a manufacturing certificate that could help them enter the field more easily. Siemens provides advice, training, and feedback. Because of the positive experience with the partnership, Siemens has begun sponsoring other school and community programs including programs for students with special needs.


Keep moving forward;
strong policies in place:

Continue to promote and expand high school graduation pathways and CTAE programs.

Proceed with caution;
policies need some work:

Focus on nontraditional students.

Alert! Policy missing
or needs immediate attention:

Georgia must develop a statewide need-based aid program.