Career & College - Related Documents

What it means to be career ready

The ever-changing demands of the global economy and the desire to remain competitive, coupled with mounting frustration over decades of lackluster academic performance, are converging to create an opportunity for change.

Once a powerhouse, the United States now trails many nations in achievement and attainment in secondary and postsecondary learning. And, increasingly, there is evidence of a mismatch between employer needs and the knowledge and skills of the current and future workforce, on display in employment figures and reports from business and industry leaders.

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Preparing Students

Only a few decades ago, schools and institutions generally tracked students into one of two paths: college or career. Today, the nation appears to be at a tipping point of unanimity that all students must be prepared for further education and careers. Hence, the primary goal of NASDCTEc’s vision paper, Reflect, Transform, Lead: A Vision for Career Technical Education (CTE), commits to supporting and expanding career technical education (CTE) to prepare students for success in both further education and careers.

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Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment programs allow high school students in their junior and senior year to take college courses and earn college credits while in high school. Sometimes these courses are taught at the student’s high school, other times students travel to the college campus for class.

Dual enrollment is increasingly popular among high school students. The U.S. Department of Education reported that during the 2002-2003 school year (the most recent year that data is available), 71 percent of high schools and 51 percent of postsecondary institutions allowed high school students to take college courses. That translates to 813,000 high school students taking at least one college-credit course during that school year.

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College and Career Readiness

NASDCTEc believes that there is great commonality between the knowledge and skills individuals need to be ready to successfully transition into postsecondary education and into the workforce. Historically, it was believed that individuals required a certain set of academic skills for entry into postsecondary education and that a separate set of technical and employability skills were needed to enter the workforce. Employers today need different skills and abilities from their workforce than what was needed in the past. This has resulted in an alignment of requirements for individuals to be ready to enter both postsecondary education and the workplace.

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