College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education
The College and Career Readiness Standards (CCR) for Adult Education report presents a set of college and career readiness standards that reflect the content most relevant to preparing adult students for success in colleges, technical training programs, work and citizenship—in the areas of English language arts/literacy and mathematics.
The College and Career Readiness Standards (CCR) for Adult Education report was prepared by MPR Associates, Inc. as part of the Promoting CCR Standards in Adult Basic Education (ABE) Project under contract to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Contract No. ED-CFO-10-A-0117/0001. In this report, readers will find a set of college and career readiness standards that reflect the content most relevant to preparing adult students for success in colleges, technical training programs, work and citizenship—in the areas of English language arts/literacy and mathematics.
To identify a set of College and Career Readiness (CCR) standards for adult education, MPR Associates, Inc. convened two independent panels—one each for English language arts and literacy (ELA/literacy) and mathematics—to look at the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) from the perspective of adult education. Each panel included a mix of expertise and experience, including representatives from adult education, community colleges, career and technical training, and the military. The methodology employed was deliberative, multilayered, iterative, and evidence-based. Over nine months, panelists were asked to make reasoned judgments about the relevance of the CCSS for adults, based on where the evidence for college and career readiness was most compelling, and to revisit and verify those judgments in light of feedback and new questions. Because the goal was to determine the applicability of an accepted set of essential CCR standards, judgments about relevance and importance were made based on each standard as written. This project was not designed to edit or refine the wording of the CCSS or otherwise develop CCR standards de novo; panelists did not have the autonomy to add content to the CCSS.
The College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education provide benchmarks aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states to consider in creating or evaluating their own adult education standards. They articulate a framework for states to employ voluntarily in strengthening their adult education programs with respect to college and career readiness. The standards were identified in response to a need expressed by adult educators to pinpoint a manageable set of the Common Core State Standards most indispensible for college and career readiness and important to adult students.
The identification of these standards can benefit states in a variety of ways, including the promotion of:
- Consistent expectations between K–12 and adult education systems so all students—whatever their pathway to graduation—will have access to the preparation they need to enter credit-bearing freshman courses without a need for remediation;
- Partnerships between and among states and programs to combine financial resources and human capital to create common tools and materials to support implementation; and
- Student preparation for new assessment models using knowledge and skills identified by the Common Core State Standards required for the attainment of a high school diploma or its equivalent (e.g., GED®, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium)
The importance of college and career readiness for adult students cannot be overstated. Increasingly, students entering the workforce are discovering that they need critical knowledge and skills that are used on a regular basis. They recognize that pursuing a career pathway that pays enough to support a family and provides genuine potential for advancement hinges on being able to perform the complex tasks identified by the Common Core State Standards as critical for postsecondary success. Leading economists who have examined labor market projections note that key college and career ready knowledge and skills are closely linked to being able to get the training necessary to earn a living wage in high-growth industries. It is crucial, then, that adult education programs provide students the opportunity to acquire these skills to pursue their long-term career aspirations and goals. The integration of College and Career Readiness standards into adult education programs is intended to provide all adult students with the opportunity to be prepared for postsecondary training without needing remediation. To that end, the Common Core State Standards selected for inclusion in this report identify beginning levels of study, reaching students at their instructional levels upon program entry and positioning them for successful progress toward college and career readiness.
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