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Doing the homework on college and career readiness

September 30, 2019

How can educators, families and communities ensure that high school students are ready for future college and career opportunities? To help students prepare, FHI 360 created College and Career Readiness: A Guide for Navigators, an interactive online tool that covers three areas: college readiness, career readiness, and college and career readiness — the important overlap between the two. While some resources focus on short-term goals, such as gaining college admission or finding work, this guide looks at the critical connections between college and career goals.

men and women in lab doing researchThis fall, nearly 70 percent of recent U.S. high school graduates will enroll in colleges and universities. But, it is likely that many will not earn the degrees they set out to attain. A recent report on national college completion rates found that less than 60 percent of students who started college in 2012 had earned their degrees six years later. For those who do graduate, finding employment may be challenging because some employers feel that graduates lack important career skills, such as oral and written communications, critical thinking and intercultural fluency.

For many young people, the link between college studies and career readiness is weak or overlooked. Planning for future success requires an early, integrated approach that helps students understand options and what they must do to prepare, especially as technology and globalization change the nature of work and skills requirements. By exploring the attitudes, knowledge and skills needed for lifelong learning and advancement in future careers, the guide can help navigators (teachers, counselors, mentors and other advocates) support students in making short- and long-term plans that link their education and careers. The website features turnkey lesson plans and the Education and Career Plan (ECP) template that integrates college and career readiness preparation into a single document. The guide, lesson plans, ECP template and other resources are available to download.

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