Iowa’s College and Career Readiness Definition
Iowa’s education system works hard to prepare all students for success beyond high school. But what does college and career readiness actually mean?
A definition adopted by the State Board of Education in 2016 represents what’s important for students to achieve postsecondary success:
Iowa students who are college and career ready have acquired the necessary knowledge, skills, and strategies to be successful in postsecondary opportunities as demonstrated through multiple sources of evidence, including those generated by students. Iowa students who are college and career ready have successfully:
- Achieved proficiency in essential content knowledge
- Acquired practical transition skills
- Developed key learning skills and cognitive strategies
- Built a strong foundation of self understanding and engagement strategies
Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise, who regularly visits classrooms across the state, said he has observed many students who exemplify the definition of college and career readiness.
“In Charles City, I listened in awe as a team of eighth-graders described their project to earn bird habitat certification from the National Wildlife Federation. In Burlington, I participated in community service projects led by students as part of the annual Hound Town Days,” Wise wrote in his monthly message for June 2017. “In Gilbert, I watched as students and parent volunteers created a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall for the local Veterans Day program. And in Algona, I listened to high school students in the Link Crew describe how they took ownership of freshman orientation to improve the transition from eighth to ninth grade.”
Work on the college and career readiness definition began in 2014 with some members of the Competency-Based Education Collaborative membership.
A broad stakeholder group convened in 2015 and generated descriptions of what’s important for students to accomplish by high school graduation.
A subgroup of that stakeholder group took those ideas and drafted a definition, which was revised based on feedback from the larger group as well as stakeholders statewide.
More than 200 people – mostly Iowa educators – provided feedback.