Four keys to college and career readiness

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College and career readiness refers to the achievement level required in a student to be able to get enrolled in colleges, technical colleges or universities for a two-year or four-year program and later on securing a stable career without the need for remediation. It includes the skills, dispositions and knowledge required to be successful in high school education and training leading to gain employment. Specifically, college readiness is the level of preparation of a student for academic work beyond high school, leading to a credential of some type such as a bachelor’s degree, certificate, skilled trade license, or associate’s degree. A student is termed college-ready if he can successfully complete entry-level college requirements. On the other hand, the skills and knowledge required for getting a person employed in his desired occupation are the essences of college readiness. In short, college readiness leads to career readiness.

The key elements required for college and career readiness are usually defined with respect to four areas. These four key areas are combined together in the form of a conceptual model to simplify the complexity of college and career readiness. Following are the key elements of this model.

Key Cognitive Strategies (THINK)

Key Content Knowledge (KNOW)

Key Learning Skills and Techniques (ACT)

Key Transition Knowledge and Skills (GO)

These four areas are discussed in detail below.


Key Cognitive Strategies (THINK):

Key cognitive strategies refer to the need of thinking and reflecting upon a piece of information rather than just retaining or applying it. This means they must process the information in their minds and manipulate it. They must be able to experiment with the information by assembling or reassembling it. They can also look for patterns in it and organize it as per their understanding. Moreover, they should be able to examine it, draw questions from it and present it. All these skills help in enhancing the cognitive abilities of a student. A cognitively smart student is able to solve problems, do analytical thinking and apply the learnt information easily in college. The following five skills are the basis of developing cognitive abilities.


Problem formulation: You must have the knowledge of what problem you are actually trying to solve. It will help you in finding the right approach to be used for solving the problem.

Research: the second step is concerned with finding relevant information required for problem-solving. You must be able to find the most pertinent data and information for solving the problem.

Interpretation: interpretation, as the name refers to, is concerned with identifying and assessing the most useful information and making a connection between different bits of information to draw a conclusion.

Communication: communication is regarded as the key element in this process. You must know how to clearly communicate the information you have received, interpreted and concluded. It also includes selecting the best medium of communication.

Precision and accuracy: this is by far the most important step. You must ensure accuracy in problem-solving, or else all your efforts will go in vain. This must be checked on every step to make sure that there is no risk of inaccurate information.


Key Content Knowledge (KNOW):

Key content knowledge refers to the importance of a strong foundation in terms of knowledge of core subjects. It also includes the understanding and knowledge of the structure of knowledge. This means that along with learning the core concepts, students must also be able to understand them in the true sense as done in nursing assignment writing service UK. Only the completion of courses is not enough if you want to be college and career ready. The factors required for successfully mastering core academic subjects include the application of learning strategies, time, effort, energy and motivation. Other characteristics of students who master subject knowledge are;

Regarding the importance of content and considering it worthy of learning.

Understanding the importance of content and the ability to draw connection between new and existing knowledge.

Motivated for learning new and relevant concepts, terms, facts and relating them with big ideas.

Working hard and understanding the importance of their hard work in deepening their knowledge and strengthening their skills.

Having the ability to organize the information.

Connecting their currently acquiring knowledge with future career options.


Key Learning Skills and Techniques (ACT):

The need for skills and techniques for students to successfully managing their learning and taking its ownership is included in key learning skills and techniques. Skills are needed along with the knowledge to exploit the career opportunities post-high school and college. Without necessary skills and techniques, a student struggles in professional life even with adequate knowledge of content. They lack independence when it comes to the practical application of learnt content as the knowledge is dependent on skills. Taking ownership of learning refers to curiously learning and finding ways to work for achieving your goals. It also includes developing good studying habits. The critical skills that every high school student should have developed if he wants to be ready include; technological proficiency, collaborative learning, strategic learning, memorizing, note-taking skills, test-taking skills, studying skills and most importantly, time management.


Key Transition Knowledge and Skills (GO):

A student who wants to be ready for college and a career must be able to identify multiple potential risks and difficulties in the way of making a successful transition. He must also be able to cope with these issues successfully. The challenges and issues may range in different aspects such as cultural, personal, financial and professional. These issues may include correct submission of post-secondary applications, exploration and choice of the most suitable career path, bearing the financial expenses for school, advocacy of your best interests and knowing exactly when to seek help.


Following skills and knowledge may help students in navigating their way out of challenges and hurdles.

College knowledge: the choice of college involves a great deal of time, research and effort. Moreover, you must know about the types of colleges and post-secondary options you have at your disposal. Along with this knowledge, you must have adequate knowledge of your personal talents, skills, knowledge and characteristics. Developing an understanding of the college application process, deadlines and requirements is also a must known factor for students.

Career awareness: there are numerous career options for students, and choosing the best for themselves can be a challenging task. The career cluster framework can help students in this regard, where 16 career clusters represent multiple occupations to choose from.


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