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College and Career Readiness: What Does It Really Mean? Part 2: Business and Higher Education Perspectives


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JD Hoye, President, National Academy Foundation
Cynthia Schmeiser, Education Consultant and Senior Advisor, ACT
Susan Traiman, Director of Public Policy, Business Roundtable
Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education

The national conversation around education has shifted from baseline academic proficiency to rigorous preparation for college and the twenty-first-century workplace. This shift comes as many college faculty and employers note that students graduating from American high schools are not prepared for postsecondary education or workplace demands. The pervasive lack of college readiness among graduating high school students is demonstrated by low college attendance and graduation rates as well as high remediation costs.

To address this shift in how public schools prepare students for the challenges of postsecondary education and the workplace, policymakers must have a clear understanding of what a college- and career-ready education means for students, teachers, schools, and external stakeholders. This policy conversation raises some important questions:

  • What knowledge, skills and dispositions matter most to business leaders and higher education officials?
  • What policy infrastructures—federal, state, and local—are necessary to ensure the delivery of these knowledge, skills, and dispositions?
  • How can business and higher education stakeholders play a more active role in how a college- and career-ready education is delivered?

To address these essential questions and more, the Alliance is hosting a three-part webinar series, “College and Career Readiness: What Does It Really Mean?” to reflect different perspectives on college and career readiness from a variety of sectors. During the first webinar of the series held in February, “Part 1: What Does the Research Say?,” the Alliance convened leading researchers and practitioners to talk about what the research tells us about college and career readiness

On April 5, the Alliance hosted its second webinar in the series, “Part 2: Business and Higher Education Perspectives,” during which a diverse group of panelists offered first-hand perspectives on what higher education institutions and businesses need from students graduating from the nation’s high schools. The panelists also discussed the role higher education institutions and businesses can play in preparing high schools students for the rigors of postsecondary education and the workplace. The webinar included a question and answer period to address questions submitted by viewers across the nation.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance, visit

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