Is it time to expand the meaning of college and career readiness?
- Based on new research, educational enterprise solutions provider Hobsons — which aims to connect students to further opportunities — has developed a new K-12 framework for college, career and life readiness.
- The research, which is based on results from 10 million students and educators from 13,000 schools, suggests competency in interpersonal skills, self-knowledge and transition skills should be added to the list of competencies alongside academic skills, career knowledge and college knowledge.
- Only about half of U.S. students feel their high schools adequately prepared them with the knowledge and skills needed for college, and remedial courses are costing students and taxpayers about $7 billion a year, Hobsons representatives said in an email accompanying a press release.
Though academic skills are important, students also need “soft skills” to survive in today’s college and career environment. Students in college may have time to acquire some form of these soft skills if they are adequately prepared for the rigors of higher ed. However, students entering the workplace directly from high school are often unprepared for the world they face.
Soft skills including communication, collaboration, empathy, critical thinking and time management skills are often overlooked as schools focus on the core academics for which they are tested. However, these are the skills that employers are looking for in a fast-paced, ever-changing work environment. Students need to be able to learn and adapt quickly and transition to new roles easily. These skills are more in-demand now than in the past, when consistency at working one job well was more highly-prized.
The new report offers advice to school leaders about how to expand college, career and life readiness in schools and districts. These recommendations include incorporating social-emotional learning, collaborating with local employers to provide hands-on opportunities, thinking outside the box, making data a consistent focus, and focusing on transitions early in the education process.