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Finally, a living definition of ‘college and career readiness’

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October 18, 2012 07:47 pm

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The education community constantly touts “college and career readiness” as the end-all, be-all of education policy, but what exactly does that mean? And how do we get there? How do we ensure that high school students receive their diploma fully prepared for college and/or a career?

What we need is a stronger, more comprehensive strategy that links education to workforce preparation, finds a new report from The Career Readiness Partner Council – a coalition of education stakeholders, policy influencers and organizations – that includes the Alliance for Excellent Education.

“We realized that what is needed is a broader approach that combines education and workforce preparation under one umbrella,” said Kimberly Green, Executive DIrector of the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, the organization that spearheaded this effort. “With this document, the Career Readiness Partner Council has taken an important step toward that goal.”

The report, Building Blocks for Change: What it Means to be Career Ready, defines a career-ready person as someone who is able to connect their education to a long-lasting, financially secure career. A career-ready person commits to lifelong learning, adaptability and flexibility, as demand for skills and knowledge in our global economy constantly shifts.

The Career Readiness Partner Council finds that while it’s essential for students to have a command of the core subjects, they also need proficiency in what they call employability knowledge, skills and dispositions. These include: goal setting & planning; managing career and school transitions; inter- and intrapersonal skills; critical thinking; working constructively in teams and individually; technology competency & a strong sense of ethical and civic responsibility.

Bob Wise, Alliance president and former governor of West Virginia, had this to say in support of the report’s release and its potential impact on education policy:

More than ever, students’ future success depends on an education that prepares them for success in college and careers. And while ensuring that students are ‘college ready’ has received much attention, it is only one component of the formula for ensuring the nation’s future economic prosperity. By clearly explaining what it means to be ‘career ready,’ the “Building Blocks for Change” document released by the Career Readiness Partner Council fills the growing gap between education and workforce preparation. It defines the academic, technical, and career knowledge and skills that today’s students need and provides the strategies and recommendations for how the nation can build a comprehensive education system that supplies them.

You can read additional words of support here and download the full report at http://careerreadynow.org/docs/CRPC_4pagerB.pdf.

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