May 2014

Developed by the CRIS research partners, this six-part CRIS Resource Series builds on lessons learned over the course of the three-year initiative and offers guidance to schools and districts that aim to develop and enact effective indicator and support systems. Each resource was created with a particular audience in mind. As such, readers may opt to review the whole series or select only those resources that apply to their particular role or interests. See the table below for more information.  


Beyond College Eligibility: A New Framework for Promoting College Readiness

Menu of College Readiness Indicators and Supports

Selecting Effective Indicators

A Technical Guide to College Readiness Indicators

District Self-Assessment Tool

Essential Elements in Implementation

The CRIS Initiative

In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the College Readiness Indicator Systems (CRIS) initiative in five urban sites across the country (see map). Each site began by appointing a CRIS Team composed of central office leadership and staff and other college readiness stakeholders in their community. The role of the CRIS Team was to provide ongoing feedback to build and refine an effective and actionable indicator system in response to their community’s unique needs.


Initially, CRIS Teams selected indicators in each of the initiative’s three dimensions of college readiness: academic preparedness, academic tenacity, and college knowledge. Further, within each dimension, indicators were selected at three levels: individual (student), setting (school), and system (district). Beginning in the second year of the initiative, each site aligned previous efforts with the CRIS Framework to implement an improved, dynamic college readiness indicator system. Three research partners (see map) were enlisted at the outset to support these sites in developing and carrying out a college readiness indicator system in a number of ways, including conducting in-depth interviews and observations to document the implementation process, convening cross-site professional learning communities, and providing technical subject matter expertise.

The CRIS Research Partners

Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University

The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education

University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research

Related AISR Resources

CRIS Webinar Series
CRIS webinars discussed various topics, tools, and resources related to College Readiness. 

Partnerships for College Readiness
This study provides useful examples for districts and cities considering greater collaboration around data and indicators related to college readiness.

College Readiness Indicator Systems: A Framework for the Field
Voices in Urban Education 38 (Fall 2013)
This issue of VUE reflects on the lessons of three years of work on the CRIS project.

College Readiness Indicator Systems
Voices in Urban Education 35 (Fall 2012)
While most U.S. education stakeholders now recognize that a high school diploma is not enough to prepare students for post-secondary success, how do we know when a student is "college ready," and how do we use that information to design effective support and interventions?