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Volume 26, Number 3
May/June 2010

College and Career Readiness

A Matter of One Goal or Two?


Do high schoolers need the same skills to be "college and career ready"? Some say yes; others aren't so sure. (Photo: David Binder, Jobs for the Future)

The Common Core State Standards released this month are meant to make all students “college or career ready” by the end of high school. But as they try to determine the best way to prepare students to meet this goal, policy makers and researchers are struggling with the question of overlap: Just how similar are the skills needed to succeed in college and the skills needed to succeed in a career that does not require a college degree? And can the two sets of skills be taught together?

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


Also by this Author

    For Further Information

    For Further Information

    "An Open Letter to NCTE Members about the Release of the Public Draft of the Common Core State Standards for K-12 English Language Arts," National Council of Teachers of English. Available online at

    "College- and Career-Readiness Standards of the Common Core State Standards Initiative Validity Study." Education Policy Improvement Center (EPIC). Available online at

    Common Core State Standards Initiative:

    "Common Core State Standards Initiative: About NASBE's Work in Common Core," National Association of State Boards of Education:

    D. Conley. College and Career Ready: Helping All Students Succeed Beyond High School. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010.

    National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP):

    "Ready for College and Ready for Work: Same or Different?" ACT, 2006. Available online at

    ACT Education Division: