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Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance:
Seminar Series on Access and Success
"MAKING MORE STUDENTS COLLEGE AND CAREER READY: What It Means to Be Ready and How to Get the Right Information to Determine Readiness"
The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance has organized a seminar series highlighting the latest research on college access, persistence, and success. The goal of the each seminar is to highlight recent research or policy issues related to five areas of the access and success spectrum: early information and awareness, college preparation and readiness, access and choice, transfer and persistence, and success and completion. Each seminar will be held on the researcher's campus or in Washington, DC. The proceedings of the seminars will be used to prepare a primer on access and success for federal policymakers.
Most students enter postsecondary education not fully ready or prepared to succeed in entry-level courses. A college-ready student is able to prepare for, engage with, and process challenging course content and intellectual tasks associated with success in the course, and do so with a high degree of independence. To get to college in the first place, high school students need specialized information to be able to select the right postsecondary environment, secure financial aid, and make a successful transition to what for most is a new cultural environment. All of this requires high schools to provide all students with much more specific and specialized knowledge, challenging intellectual experiences, and specialized learning skills, along with targeted information regarding postsecondary education opportunities, requirements, and expectations, particularly for those who would be first in family to attend college. This chapter identifies, defines, and explains four “keys" to college and career readiness. They include: key cognitive strategies, key content knowledge, key learning skills and techniques, and key transition knowledge and skills. The chapter offers a model for creating a system of assessments and ancillary measures that can be used to gather multidimensional information in each of the four keys in order to help students prepare better and to enable colleges to make better determinations of student readiness for postsecondary education.