College Readiness

College Readiness

According to the Educational Policy Improvement Center, college readiness ensures that a student is able to enter a college classroom without remediation and successfully complete entry-level college requirements. In order for a student to be considered college ready, content knowledge and behaviors must be acquired prior to advancing from high school. The core areas of college readiness include students having strong intellectual growth fostered by increasingly challenging content in the core subjects of English, mathematics, science and social studies.  

Students must be able to:

Critically think and problem solve in the context of a continuously changing set of circumstances and realities.

·   Have the capacity to communicate effectively with individuals from a variety of cultural and professional backgrounds.

College readiness also includes some of the “softer skills” that students must have. According to David Conley, college readiness is, “the degree to which previous educational and personal experiences have equipped students for the expectations and demands they will encounter in college.”  

College Readiness Soft Skills include:

  • Responsibility  College students are expected to understand that they are held accountable for their actions in academic, personal and social contexts.    
  • Self management  Self management includes all aspects of taking control of one's life including monitoring health, eating habits, self care, laundry, and finances.  Managing your own life on your own is an important step toward self reliance and success.
  • Communication  Students will need to learn to communicate effectively with other students, roommates, and faculty members. 
  • Teamwork and collaboration  Working effectively with others is increasingly important in today’s world.  Students will be expected to complete many projects as part of a group or team. 
  • Study Skills  Students must be able to organize work, read carefully, prepare for tests and plan and write papers.
  • Comfort with Technology  Technology is not only continuing to be a growing presence in all of our lives, but is increasingly becoming a standard tool in many college classes.  Students will need skills and comfort beyond surfing the internet. Students must be comfortable with online research, e-mail communication, and various software programs. 
  • Tolerate Ambiguity  Not everything taught or learned in college is black and white, or crystal clear.  Students who are better able to understand and work in a “gray” area will be less uncomfortable and will be able to understand subtleties better. 
  • Comfort with Diversity  Students will be exposed to many different types of people and many different ways of living, thinking and being.  Students who have some intercultural competence or who are open to new people will benefit most from the college experience. 
  • Ability to work Independently  Students will be required to do larger blocks of work on their own and to keep track of work and responsibilities.  Students who are used to working on their own and keeping track of their own work will be better armed for a college learning lifestyle. 
  • Ability to Follow Directions  Students need to be able to follow both simple and more complex directions.  Instructions about how to do an assignment may be very specific, deadlines will matter, and students will need to be able to “play by the rules”.
  • Have Personal Goals  Some studies have suggested that students who have strong personal goals, even if those goals change over time, are better able to be engaged and stay on track.
  • Be Engaged  Students who participate actively in their own education, who expect to work hard and stay involved, will not only learn more and do better in their classes, but will also have a more satisfying experience overall.

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