Find State-Specific Resources on our State Assessment Guides Map.
As parents, one of our goals is to make sure our children receive a high school diploma. But - what does this diploma mean? What can students actually accomplish when they graduate? Does the diploma mean they have the skills needed for the next steps in life? Are students actually prepared for college or career?
Unfortunately, the answer more often than not is a resounding, No! In our ever changing world, the educational experience hasn’t kept pace with the demands in a competitive, knowledge-based, technology-driven society:
- In 2016, only 39% of ACT-tested graduates met three or more of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks in English, math, reading and science. One out of three students—34%—did not meet any of the benchmarks, indicating they are ill-prepared in all four core subject areas.
- Every year in the United States, numerous college students discover that, despite being fully eligible to attend college, they are not ready for postsecondary studies. Millions of dollars are spent on remediation course work - classes that are not credit bearing, but cost the same.
- It is estimated that nearly half of young Americans are unable to join the armed forces. A large contributing factor is poor educational achievement; nearly one-fourth of the students that try to join the military cannot pass the entrance exam.
- Businesses across the country depend on a highly qualified workforce prepared for jobs in the 21st century. Today’s workplace requires employees to be able to think on their feet, make decisions and solve problems.
College and career-ready high school graduates must have the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to succeed in life. Parents, families, educators, employers, and policy makers now focus on these skills and knowledge to ensure students receive academic preparation, skills training, life planning, social support and resources. Students are learning critical thinking and reasoning skills necessary to engage in our complex work environments and compete in our global economy. States have adopted higher, more focused standards and aligned assessments to better prepare students for college, technical schools, the military and careers.
College and Career Readiness means that a student is prepared to go directly to work or enroll and succeed – without remediation – in a variety of postsecondary institutions so that they are ready to enter a career of their choice.
Components of College and Career Readiness:
- Academic and Content Knowledge
- Cognitive and Higher-order Thinking Strategies
- Social and Emotional Intelligences
- College and Career Preparedness
- Employability and Life Skills
Family engagement plays a crucial role in education. PTA advocates as a powerful voice for all children and a relevant resource for families and communities - providing resources to help parents and families support and assist with their child's education including readiness for college and career. PTA's focus on college and career readiness supports our mission to make every child's potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. By working together to ensure America's youth are prepared when they graduate high school, we ensure they are ready for life!