Level Up Principles

Level Up is a collaborative of state and national partners committed to measurably increasing the numbers of high school students prepared for and successfully transitioning to postsecondary education and training programs. Our collective mission is to make successful postsecondary transitions the new normal for all students in all communities.

60% of all jobs will require a postsecondary credential

More than 60% of all jobs will require a postsecondary credential by the end of the decade. Earning a postsecondary credential of value—a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree—opens doors to jobs that can support a family. All students deserve that future.

Today, too few youth—especially students of color, those from low-income families, and whose parents did not attend college—have that opportunity. That must change. We must level up our expectations and supports to close this gap.

Measurably Increase Successful Postsecondary Transitions

Through our collective efforts, we will work to increase the number of states and communities with strategies that bring their education systems into alignment. We aspire to dramatically increase the number of students—especially low income, first-generation, and students of color—who:

We Believe

  • Educational attainment should not end with a high school diploma.
  • Every state and community needs to prioritize postsecondary preparation and transitions
  • Postsecondary preparation and attainment today are inequitable, and will require shifts in policy and practice to close equity and opportunity gaps.
  • Closing postsecondary preparation and attainment gaps is the shared responsibility of K-12 and higher education; working alone is insufficient.
  • State, system, institutional, and local leaders have a critical leadership role to play in elevating this issue and prioritizing actions to increase postsecondary preparation and success.

The Level Up partners are Committed to:

  1. Make the vision of successful postsecondary transitions a reality for every student in the nation.
  2. Increasing the number of states and communities that prioritize postsecondary transitions through intentional policies, structures, and incentives.
  3. Promoting postsecondary preparation and success broadly, while targeting approaches to serve the students with the greatest need.
  4. Encouraging and supporting state and local policymakers and practitioners as they develop, implement, and sustain their efforts.

As K-12 and higher education leaders and advocates, we stand together to level up our alignment efforts to accelerate student transitions. Postsecondary readiness and success must be a priority for every student, educator, and policymaker to ensure that the transition between high school and postsecondary education is a launch pad, not a hurdle.

Learn more about the context for our work and the Level Up partners.