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College & Career Readiness

College & Career Readiness

Author: Jody Waltman

In this lesson learners will explore the connection between CBE and college and career readiness.

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In this tutorial, we'll explore how competency based education and deeper learning support college and career readiness. We'll begin by just discussing the overall importance of college and career readiness. And then we'll see the connections to deeper learning and CBE.

Let's get started. There's an increasing focus in education, today, on the importance of college and career readiness. We're seeing that all too often, students are leaving high school not prepared with the skills that they need to learn in college or to be successful in the workplace. And so we want to make sure that the K-12 education experience is providing students with these necessary skills. This is resulting on a new focus on fostering those real world skills and providing those rigorous expectations that students are going to need to be ready for in higher education and in the workplace.

We also want to make sure that we are providing students with the really strong foundation of those fundamental skills that are necessary, then, to bridge to the higher order thinking skills. It's too common that students need remedial assistance in just basic subjects, as they are enrolling in their college classes. We want to help students avoid this, if possible. We want our students to leave high school feeling prepared for college or for their career.

So how does deeper learning fit into the idea of college and career readiness? Well, deeper learning emphasizes those higher order thinking skills and analysis skills. It focuses on those problem solving skills and asks us to help support students as they learn to understand what they know and what they don't know. Really, deeper learning is very much designed to help our students to be better prepared for college and for their careers.

In fact, that was a guiding principle as the Hewlett Foundation created those deeper learning core competencies. Recall that the core competencies ask students to master core academic content, to think critically and solve complex problems, to work collaboratively, to communicate effectively, to learn how to learn, and to develop academic mindsets. We can absolutely see how all six of these core competencies relate back to the importance of college and career readiness.

So how does college and career readiness-- again, supported by deeper learning-- relate to competency based education, in particular? Well, CBE can provide flexibility in students' learning pathways and in the educational opportunities that we provide to them. So this might help students to earn credits in a nontraditional way.

There's a focus, in CBE, on the real world skills and the higher order thinking and reasoning skills that students need to practice. Also, CBE can be a good fit for practicing those collaborative skills, those teamwork skills that are going to be needed in students' future workplaces. Also, CBE does incorporate those self-evaluation and self-reflection skills that are called for in both deeper learning and in college and career readiness. And students will find both of those processes very helpful in future education and future careers.

In this tutorial, we talked about the importance of college and career readiness. And then we saw how both deeper learning and competency based education can support this idea of college and career readiness.

So now it's your turn to stop and reflect. With the increasing focus on college and career readiness, has your school implemented any type of a CCR program that supports your efforts in providing students with these real world skills? If not, can you think of ways that you can incorporate this focus into your classroom environment on your own?

To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the Additional Resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "College & Career Readiness"

(00:00 - 00:19) Introduction

(00:20 - 01:21) Importance of College & Career Readiness

(01:22 - 02:21) Deeper Learning

(02:22 - 03:14) CBE 

(03:15 - 03:27) Review

(03:28 - 04:05) Stop and Reflect

Additional Resources

How Does Deeper Learning Prepare Students for the Future?

This is the page for the Teaching Channel Series on Deeper Learning. This series of videos, introduced by Tony Wagner, explores the significance of and methods behind deeper learning and helping students become future-ready.

​WCET Learn: Competency-based Education

WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) is a division of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. This site is dedicated to resources and tools that demonstrate why CBE is important for college and career readiness. It highlights some innovative programs available through higher education designed around CBE, such as Capella's Flex Path Program.