College and Career Readiness

Success starts with preparation. America’s growing skills and attainment gaps necessitate that K-12 systems prepare more students for success in college and career. We help K-12 and higher education systems and institutions collaborate to adopt aligned policies and strategies that increase readiness and success, resulting in more high school graduates attaining a postsecondary credential with labor market value.

Align K-12 and postsecondary expectations

Ensuring a state’s standards and assessments are college- and career-ready helps close the preparation gap so that proficient in high school means truly prepared for college or work. ESG works with states and systems to promote alignment for long-term student success.

Create high-quality career pathways

Career readiness no longer means preparing high school graduates to directly enter the workforce, as nearly all youth will need some postsecondary education or training to find success in the current and future economy. ESG works with states and districts to support student participation in high-quality career pathways, guided by employer needs, to give all youth a leg-up on their future.

Promote seamless transitions into postsecondary

In high school, students who have mastered the content need opportunities to “speed up” by earning college credit, while students who need to “catch up” want ways to fill gaps in their learning. ESG works with states and systems to develop collaborative strategies that deliver significantly more students into higher education ready to engage in credit-bearing coursework from day one.

Modernize accountability systems to promote readiness

What’s measured gets valued by schools, yet most state accountability systems don’t measure or value career readiness. ESG works with states on the design and implementation of accountability systems grounded in research on what it means to be college- and career-ready and the leading examples of how states are measuring student readiness for life beyond high school.

Image credit for three color photos:
Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action