Same or Different?
During the 1990s, states adopted education standards that
defined what students needed to know and be able to do,
but these standards were silent on what constituted college
readiness and career readiness or the relationship between the
two. Standards for Success, the first set of standards specific to
college readiness, was created in 2003 under the sponsorship
of the Association of American Universities (Conley, 2003).
More than 400 faculty members at leading U.S. universities
identified what it takes for students to be ready to succeed in
entry-level courses at their institutions.
Reasoning and problem solving were
the most highly rated skills across
all subject areas in both academic
and career-oriented courses.
Shortly thereafter, the American Diploma Project defined
college and career readiness with input from postsecondary
faculty, economists, and members of the business community.
Achieve, the sponsor of these standards, characterized the
standards as representing an “unprecedented convergence”
of educator and employer opinions on what it means to be
ready for college and careers (Achieve, Education Trust, &
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 2004). Although Standards
for Success and the American Diploma Project standards
had considerable overlap, they were not identical (Rolfhus,
Decker, Brite, & Gregory, 2010).
A few years later, ACT (2006) published an influential
study that claimed that college and career readiness were the
same. To research this question, ACT researchers studied job