In order to be successful in the 21st century, students will need to master an expanded set of competencies that extends beyond discrete academic standards. Competency-based education (CBE) is an educational approach that focuses on mastery of these competencies – rather than seat time – as a measure of student learning. This approach is being adopted by a growing number of educators focused on ensuring students graduate college and career ready.
Stackable credentials are industry-recognized credentials attained through certificate or other non-degree programs that articulate toward a higher level certificate or associates degree in the same job-related area. This policy scan, conducted by the National Skills Coalition, highlights nineteen states with stackable credential policies in place.
This brief from the Education Commission of the States examines the policymaking activity of 13 states concerning two core areas: (1) how these states are establishing processes for educators and employers to use workforce data to set goals that align with high school and postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) programs; and (2) how these states are developing strategies that scale up career pathways in a way that connects K–12 education to postsecondary CTE initiatives.
Growing evidence highlights the importance of teaching social and emotional skills alongside academic skills for students’ success throughout their education and beyond. Although social and emotional skills are frequently tied to early education standards, they are often left out of the standards for elementary, middle, and high school. As a result, many states have encountered roadblocks in aligning early learning standards with those for K–12.
This brief profiles Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ efforts to establish career pathway systems for its students. These efforts focus on providing students with coursework that builds their competencies in core academic and career areas, and provides opportunities to earn postsecondary and workforce credentials. Key features of the district’s career pathway systems include early career exploration, strong partnerships with postsecondary and workforce institutions, and emphasis on college and career in school curriculum and culture.
Evidence suggests that earning college credit prior to postsecondary enrollment is a predictor of college success. States are now being asked to consider including measures related to students earning college credit during high school in their accountability systems. This paper offers research-based guidance and recommendations to states for incorporating these indicators into their accountability systems.
Learn about the opportunities to leverage the Every Student Succeeds Act, 2015 (ESSA) to promote a coherent college and career readiness vision.