What Does College and Career Readiness Look Like at the State Level?

What are states doing in the area of college and career readiness and success? A lot. At one of our recent convenings, regional comprehensive centers (RCCs) discussed their work on numerous and varied state projects related to college and career readiness and success.

A few common areas in which RCCs are supporting state work include college and career readiness and success definitions and measures, academic standards implementation and alignment with career and technical education (CTE) standards, multiple pathways to postsecondary success, and interventions and supports.   

So, what does this work look like?

The California Comprehensive Center is supporting the alignment of English language arts (ELA) academic standards with English language development (ELD) standards by building an ELA/ELD framework and informing educators on how to best use this framework.

The Central Comprehensive Center (C3) is supporting the state of Missouri in its career pathways initiative – currently in its second year – which prepares students for jobs in rapidly growing industries. C3 and the State of Missouri are hosting day-long professional development sessions for district educator teams, comprised of administrators and educators in mathematics, English, and CTE. These sessions prepare educators to participate in externships hosted by local employers, learning what academic skills application looks like in the work setting and what employers need entry-level staff to know and be able to do on their first day on the job. The CCRS Center also assisted by delivering a session on trends in job growth and educational attainment.

The Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center is leading facilitated workshops with the states it supports on developing statewide definitions of college and career readiness and success. These workshops bring multiple stakeholders together to build an understanding of the necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions for students to be successful beyond high school and guide efforts to identify when students are on track for postsecondary success.

The Northeast Comprehensive Center authored a brief entitled, "Best Practices in Implementing Proficiency Based Learning." This brief outlines research on five sites that are in the process of implementing proficiency-based systems. Leaders from each of the featured sites have provided input and lessons learned from their journey to design instruction that best supports each learner. The brief will be used with Rhode Island's Proficiency-Based Learning Coalition to explore next steps in Rhode Island schools. 

We heard about many more examples currently under way, and we’d like to learn more: in your opinion, which college and career readiness state initiatives are working and could work for other states? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @CCRSCenter

Laura Jimenez is the director of the College and Career Readiness and Success Center at AIR. 

Photo credit: Flickr

This post was updated on December 16, 2014. 

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