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Jul 17, 2014

What Does it Mean to be ‘College- and Career-Ready?’


Manager, Communications. Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

One of the primary reasons the business community supports the Common Core State Standards is its focus on preparing students to be "college- and career-ready." This means that, upon graduating from high school, students will be prepared to enter college without the need for remedial coursework (costing this nation $3.6 billion a year) and/or join the workforce with the foundational knowledge and supporting skills that employers are looking for (have we mentioned the skills gap?)

When discussing college- and career-ready skills, we often use broad terms like critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. But what does this mean exactly?

The framework of college- and career-ready skills can be broken into four categories:

  1. Core content knowledge and skills
  2. Thinking skills
  3. College and career knowledge and navigation
  4. Employability and interpersonal skills

This graphic illustrates the specific skills within each category.

Each of these skills plays an important role in ensuring that students, our future workforce, are college- and career-ready. Regardless of the paths students take, it is important to provide a strong foundation in all of these areas to allow students the chance to enter college or a career pathway that will offer opportunities for advancement and a family-sustaining wage.

The Common Core State Standards work to do just that, by providing clear guidelines of the knowledge and skills students should gain at each level of their education, so that they graduate prepared for success.

Read more of our Common Core coverage here, here and here.

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About the Author

Manager, Communications. Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

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