College and Career Ready Definitions

The California Department of Education has not formally adopted a college and career readiness definition. However, on March 3, 2014, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction announced that the Standards for Career Ready Practice are for all students. These standards, in general terms, describe what students need to know to succeed when they transfer to postsecondary education, career training, or the workforce.


California Department of Education. (2015). Career Readiness Initiative. Retrieved from

California Department of Education. (2015). Career Readiness Standards. Retrieved from

Accountability Metrics
  • Student achievement status on state tests
  • Student growth on state tests
  • Attendance rate

Source: Center for American Progress. (2016). Explore the Data for ‘Making the Grade’. Retrieved from

College and Career Ready Reporting Metrics
State School Report Card1
Data Quest2
Students scoring proficient on California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE)1
AP scores, enrollment rate, and test participation rate2
IB enrollment by subject2
SAT scores and participation rate2
ACT scores and participation rate2
California English Language Development Test  scores2
Enrollment in arts, dance, and music courses by type2
Enrollment in foreign language courses by language and level2
Enrollment in independent study courses2
Enrollment in online courses2
Graduates completing all courses required for state university admissions2
CTE enrollment rate1*
CTE enrollment by pathway2
Number of CTE completers1
Dropout rate2
Number of suspensions2
Number of expulsions2
Number of graduates enrolled in postsecondary2
Number of graduates enrolled in California public postsecondary schools2
1. California Department of Education. (2016). School Accountability Report Card (SARC). Retrieved from
2. California Department of Education. (2016). DataQuest. Retrieved from
3. California Department of Education. (2016). California NAEP results. Retrieved from
Dual Enrollment and Early College High School

Dual Enrollment and Articulation

California allows students to enroll part time or full time at any community college for academic and/or CTE dual credit. Students in 11th or 12th grade also are permitted to enroll part time in classes at the California State University or University of California for academic credit. Courses are offered at high schools and college campuses (Education Commission of the States, 2015).

A list of all articulation agreements can be found at the California Statewide Career Pathways website.

Early College High School

The Foundation for California Community Colleges, Center for Native Education, Gateway to College National Network, Middle College National Consortium, National Council of La Raza, and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation have partnered with institutions of higher education to provide 41 early college high schools as part of the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI).

Citations: Jobs for the Future. (n.d.). Schools. Retrieved from

National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium. (2013). California [Interactive map of state career technical education profiles]. Retrieved from

Education Commission of the States. (2015). Dual enrollment – all state profiles. Retrieved from

California Statewide Pathways. Articulation agreements. Retrieved from

Career Pathways

California’s 15 Career Clusters are based on state workforce requirements and are framed around the National Career Clusters Framework with some variation, including organization (e.g., Business, Management & Administration and Finance Career Clusters are combined) as well as additional Career Clusters unique to state industry (e.g., Fashion and Interior Design). California’s CTE Career Clusters are as follows:

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  • Building and Construction Trades
  • Business and Finance
  • Education, Child Development, and Family Services
  • Energy, Environment, and Utilities
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Fashion and Interior Design
  • Health Science and Medical Technology
  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Manufacturing and Product Design
  • Marketing Sales and Service
  • Public Services
  • Transportation


National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. (n.d.). California [Interactive map of state CTE profiles]. Retrieved from

Career Exploration and Career Plans
California does not have a statewide system for career exploration or career plans at the K–12 level.
Alignment Between High School Graduation and State College Admission Requirements

High School and College Alignment


High School Graduation Requirements

A-G Subject Requirements

College Admission Requirements

English Credits:




Mathematics Credits:

2.0 (including Algebra I)

3.0 (introductory algebra, geometry, and advanced algebra)

3.0 (Algebra I, geometry, and Algebra II)

Social Studies Credits:

3.0 (United States history and geography [1.0], world history, culture and geography [1.0], American government [0.5], and economics [0.5])

2.0 (including world history, cultures, and historical geography [1.0]; and United States history [1.0] or United States history [0.5] and either American government or civics [0.5])

2.0 (United States history [1.0] or United States history [0.5] and civics or American government [0.5]; and world history, culture, and geography [1.0])

Science Credits:

2.0 (biology and physical science)

2.0 (each with laboratory science selected from among biology, chemistry, and physics)

2.0 (each with laboratory experience selected from among biology, chemistry, or physics)

Foreign Language Credits:

1.0 (students may substitute with art)

2.0 (in same language)

2.0 (in same language; see Additional Credits)

Arts Credits:

1.0 (students can substitute with foreign language)

1.0 (from among dance, drama/theatre, music, or visual arts)

1.0 (from among dance, drama/theater, music, or visual art)

Additional Credits:

2.0 (physical education)

1.0 (either a course beyond those listed above or selected from among list of approved electives)

1.0 (selected from among history, English, advanced mathematics, laboratory science, foreign language, social science, or fine arts)

Total Credits:





California High School Exit Examination

Not specified

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or ACT®


California Department of Education

University of California

California Department of Education



Each subject area listed above (e.g., English, mathematics, social science, etc.) is designated by a letter A through G. The A-G Subject Requirements align with the University of California system. Courses satisfying the A-G requirements must be approved by the University of California System and appear on a school’s course list.


Early Warning Systems
California may have a state-specific Early Warning System, but the system is not publicly available.