College and Career Ready Definitions

“College readiness is the level of preparation a student needs to succeed in credit-bearing courses in college. ‘Succeed’ is defined as completing entry-level courses at a level of understanding and proficiency that prepares the student for subsequent courses. Kentucky’s system-wide standards of readiness guarantee students access to credit-bearing coursework without the need for remediation in high school or college coursework or intervention programming.

Career readiness is the level of preparation a high school graduate needs to proceed to the next step in a chosen career, whether that is postsecondary coursework, industry certification, or entry into the workforce.”


Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. (n.d.). College and career readiness in Kentucky. Frankfort, KY: Author. Retrieved from

Accountability Metrics
  • Student achievement status on state tests
  • Student growth on state tests
  • Four-year graduation rate
  • Additional graduation rates (five or more years)
  • Performance on college entry exams such as SAT, ACT, ACCUPLACER, or COMPASS
  • Career preparedness performance, including earning credentials or certificates, performance on WorkKeys, and grades in career and technical education courses
  • State exit-level or college placement test
  • Program reviews, including those for arts and humanities, writing, and practical living and career studies
Source: Center for American Progress. (2016). Explore the Data for ‘Making the Grade’. Retrieved from
College and Career Ready Reporting Metrics
State Report Card1
Technical Education Database System3
P20 Data Reports4
Early Warning Systems
ACT EXPLORE by subject 1
ACT PLAN by subject 1
ACT EXPLORE QualityCore (EOC) by subject 1
ACT by subject 1
Average high school GPA1
College-ready students1
Percentage of failing term grades5
Career readiness (academic)1
Career readiness (technical skills)1
Career pathways1
College- and/or career-ready students1
CTE concentrator: Students graduating3
Attendance rate1
Dropout rate1
Retention rate1
English proficiency5
Age equivalent per grade level5
Percentage of instructional time missed5
In-school suspensions5
Current and previous year in-school removal incidents5
Four-year graduation rate1
Transition to adult life after graduation4
Average Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) awards earned by high school graduates4
Overall college-going rate4
1. Kentucky Department of Education. (2016). Kentucky school report card  Retrieved from
2. Kentucky Department of Education. (2016). NAEP. Retrieved from 
3. Kentucky Department of Education. (2017). Technical Education Database System. Frankfort, KY: Author. Retrieved from 
4. Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics. (2015). Kentucky county profile update. Retrieved from
5. Kentucky Department of Education. (2015). Persistence to Graduation Tool. Retrieved from
Dual Enrollment and Early College High School

Dual Enrollment and Articulation Kentucky allows students to earn dual credit for academic and/or CTE dual-enrollment courses at their high school, postsecondary institution, online, or via another method. Public postsecondary institutions are required to accept these credits (Education Commission of the States, 2015).

Early College High School The Middle College National Consortium and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation have each established one Early College High School as part of the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI). The Middle College National Consortium partnered with an institution of higher education. More information about schools participating in ECHSI is available at the ECHSI website (Jobs for the Future, n.d.).

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

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

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

Career Pathways

Kentucky organizes its secondary CTE programs into nine program areas:

  • Architecture and Construction
  • Business and Marketing
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Health Science
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Visual Media

Within these areas, Kentucky implements programs of study aligned with 11 Career Clusters:

  • Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
  • Business Management & Administration
  • Education & Training
  • Finance
  • Health Science
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

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

Career Exploration and Career Plans

In 2002, Kentucky mandated that all students in Grades 6–12 have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) (U.S. Department of Labor, 2013). The ILP incorporates assessments results, education plans, outcomes, student needs, academic and career interests, supports for successful transition, and readiness for postsecondary learning opportunities and work. Students, parents, teachers, and administrators can access the plans from any computer with Internet access. Ongoing monitoring and annual review processes are required until the student graduates (Kentucky Department of Education, 2008).


U.S. Department of Labor. (2013). Individualized learning plans across the U.S. Retrieved from

Kentucky Department of Education. (2008). Kentucky implements Individual Learning Plans for all students. Retrieved from 

Kentucky Department of Education. (n.d.). Individual Learning Plan. Retrieved from

Alignment Between High School Graduation and State College Admission Requirements

High School and College Alignment


High School Graduation Requirements

College Admission Requirements

English Credits:



Mathematics Credits:

3.0 (Algebra I, geometry, and Algebra II)

3.0 (Algebra I, Algebra II, and geometry)

Social Studies Credits:



Science Credits:

3.0 (each with laboratory experience)

3.0 (including one with laboratory experience)

Foreign Language Credits:

None specified (N/S)


Arts Credits:



Additional Credits:

8.0 (health [0.5], physical education [0.5], History and appreciation of visual and performing arts [1.0], Academic and career interest standards-based learning experiences [7.0], Technology [n/s])

1.0 (health [0.5], physical education [0.5])

Total Credits:





Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or ACT®


Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education





Early Warning Systems

Kentucky’s state-specific Early Warning System is called Persistence to Graduation. Early Warning System data are reported at the student level, but can be grouped by school or district as well. In terms of who can access Early Warning System data, the Kentucky Department of Education encourages liberal availability and includes district dropout prevention personnel, building principals, counselors, special education administrators, teachers, and family resource and youth service center staff.


Kentucky Department of Education. (2015). Persistence to Graduation Tool. Retrieved from