College and Career Ready Definitions
Pennsylvania has not adopted or made available a definition of college and career readiness.
Accountability Metrics
  • Student achievement status on state tests
  • Student growth on state tests
  • Attendance rate
  • Four-year graduation rate
  • Additional graduation rates (five or more years)
  • Percentage of students earning a GED certificate
  • Performance in advanced course work, including AP or IB exams and dual enrollment course grades
  • Performance on college entry exams such as SAT, ACT, ACCUPLACER, or COMPASS
  • Participation in PSAT or ACT Aspire
  • Career preparedness performance, including earning credentials or certificates, performance on WorkKeys, and grades in career and technical education courses
  • AP, International Baccalaureate, or college credit offered
Source: Center for American Progress. (2016). Explore the Data for ‘Making the Grade’. Retrieved from
College and Career Ready Reporting Metrics
School Performance
PDE Data and Statistics2
Early Warning System3
NAEP scores1
Student enrollment in AP, IB, or college-credit coursework in each of the four core academic areas
Course grades3
Percent competent or advanced on industry standards-based competency assessments1
Dropout rate1,2
Attendance rate1, 3
1. Pennsylvania Department of Education. (2015). School Performance Profile. Retrieved from 
2. Pennsylvania Department of Education. (n.d.). Data and statistics. Retrieved from
Dual Enrollment and Early College High School

Dual Enrollment and Articulation

Pennsylvania state policy allows students to earn dual credit for academic or CTE postsecondary courses taken at their high school or a postsecondary institution. Public postsecondary institutions in the state are not required to accept dual-enrollment credits (ECS, 2015).

Early College High School

The Gateway to College National Network, National Council of La Raza, and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation have partnered with institutions of higher education to each provide an Early College High School program as part of the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI; Jobs for the Future, n.d.).


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

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

Career Pathways

Pennsylvania has its own structure of CTE, but crosswalks the National Career Clusters Framework for federal reporting.

Pennsylvania maintains and supports programs of study across 15 of the 16 Career Clusters, including:

  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Arts, A/V Technology and Communications
  • Business Management and Administration
  • Education and Training
  • Finance
  • Health Sciences
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics


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

Career Exploration and Career Plans
Pennsylvania 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

College Admission Requirements

English Credits:



Mathematics Credits:


3.0 (from among algebra, geometry, and trigonometry)

Social Studies Credits:



Science Credits:



Foreign Language Credits:



Arts Credits:


See Additional Credits

Additional Credits:

8.0 (arts and humanities [2.0], health and physical education [1.0], and electives [5.0])

5.0 (selected from among humanities, foreign languages, social studies, and arts)

Total Credits:





Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or ACT®


The Pennsylvania Code

Pennsylvania State University




Early Warning Systems

Pennsylvania’s state-specific Early Warning System is called the Early Warning System Needs Assessment. Early Warning System data are reported at the student level to only local educators.


Pennsylvania Department of Education. (2015). Early Warning System Needs Assessment. Retrieved from