College and Career Readiness Standards

College- and Career-Readiness Standards

What are College- and Career-Readiness Standards?

All students should graduate from high school equipped to succeed in college, career, and life. College- and career- ready standards (CCRS) are high-quality content standards aimed at ensuring that every student has the skills to compete in today's global, knowledge-based economy, thereby setting them up to pursue the future of their choosing.

Standards represent goals for what students should know and be able to do while learning academic content. They differ from curriculum, which provides educators with an outline of what should be taught in the classroom.

When students journey into post-secondary ventures, they should be academically ready to for the challenges ahead, whether they are headed to college or into a career. Students should be prepared to engage in learning that will lead them to success, not trying to learn or relearn concepts they should have learned in K-12. However, too many students currently enter these postsecondary academic programs not prepared to take credit-bearing courses, which leads to a significant loss of time and money.

To ensure that students are prepared to compete in a world that requires more than just basic skills and decrease the number of students in need of remedial education, states have voluntarily opted to participate in college- and career-ready standards. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a set of grade-by-grade learning expectations for students in grades K-12 for Mathematics and for English Language Arts and Literacy. While states have had standards for more than 15 years, the CCSS set clear, consistent and high learning goals focused specifically on ensuring that students are college- and career-ready.

In addition, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are K–12 science content standards. Similar to the CCSS, the NGSS were developed by states to improve science education for all students by introducing a set of research-based, up-to-date K–12 science standards that were consistent across states. These standards give local educators the flexibility to design classroom learning experiences that stimulate students’ interests in science and prepares them for college, careers, and citizenship. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have adopted the NGSS.


What should I expect with CCRS? 

Ultimately, teachers, parents, and students should expect more time to focus on what matters most – acquiring the skills, knowledge, and mindsets needed to succeed in college and career. Traditionally, the structure of learning concepts has been very broad but the level of knowledge of the material covered was very shallow. CCSS and NGSS focus on students developing deeper fluency and understanding of concepts and making connections across different subjects, enabling them to think more critically and become more comfortable with complex materials.


How can SRI help? 

  • At SRI, we can design, administer, and analyze surveys that measure a host of non-academic outcomes critical to the CCSS, such as social-emotional learning. We can also design and administer surveys specific to your alumni to determine how well prepared they feel they are for the challenges they’ve encountered in their postsecondary experiences.
  • We have over 10 years experience designing surveys to meet the needs of various educational organizations in the public, charter, and independent school sectors. As such, we can design a survey to meet the specific academic program of your school. We are also experienced in surveying multiple stakeholder groups, including teachers, parents, and students, to gauge whether they feel students are college- and career- ready.
  • SRI can customize surveys to meet the needs of states, school districts, and school leaders.
  • We can compare or benchmark survey results to other similar schools nationally and within a state so you know how you’re doing in relation to other schools that are also focused on college- and career- readiness. Our reports are colorful and in an easy-to-understand format. Summaries of findings are provided and conclusions offer ideas for strategic planning and school improvement.


Achieve. College and Career Readiness. Accessed August 31, 2017. 

Next Generation Science Standards. Next Generation Science Standards Fact Sheet. (2016). Accessed August 31, 2017. 

Student Achievement Partners. (2013). Introducing the Common Core to Parents and Community Members [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Education. College and Career Ready Standards. Accessed August 31, 2017.

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