College and Career Readiness Standards
Rationale for the Project
The importance of college and career readiness for adult students cannot be overstated. Increasingly, students entering the workforce are discovering that they need critical knowledge and skills that are used on a regular basis. They recognize that pursuing a career pathway that pays enough to support a family and provides genuine potential for advancement hinges on being able to perform the complex tasks identified by the CCSS as critical for postsecondary success. Leading economists who have examined labor market projections note that key college and career ready knowledge and skills are closely linked to being able to get the training necessary to earn a living wage in high-growth industries (Carnevale and Desrochers 2002, 2003). It is crucial, then, that adult education programs provide students the opportunity to acquire these skills to pursue their long-term career aspirations and goals.
The CCSS are ambitious. In mathematics, they reflect content typically taught in both beginning and more advanced algebra and geometry courses, as well as in data analysis and statistics classes. The ELA/literacy standards demand robust analytic and reasoning skills and strong oral and written communication skills. It is understandable that some educators may be daunted by the prospect of making academic requirements in adult education programs even more demanding. However genuine the concerns about setting the bar higher for college and career readiness, a willingness to act on what educators and employers have clearly identified as nonnegotiable knowledge and skills is essential to enabling adult learners to meet the real-world demands of postsecondary training and employment.
The integration of CCR standards into adult education programs is intended to provide all adult students with the opportunity to be prepared for postsecondary training without needing remediation. To that end, the CCSS selected for inclusion here identify beginning levels of study, reaching students at their instructional levels upon program entry and positioning them for successful progress toward college and career readiness.