“People are coming into the workplace with technical skills, but they lack so many of the fundamental human relational skills that are required now because the nature of problems in the workplace are so complex…” – David Conley, USA
It’s no secret that there’s a growing disconnect between what employers need from students coming out of universities, and the ability of the new graduates to fill those needs. Career readiness in today’s world is about so much more than just having technical skills – it’s the “soft” skills like communication, problem solving and collaboration that are in high demand in today’s workforce. And it’s no different for students transitioning from high school to college: they simply are not prepared for the reality they are graduating into.
As the author of College Knowledge and College and Career Ready, David Conley knows a thing or two about what it takes to be college and career-ready. When I spoke with him recently, he shared his perspective on what needs to change in our education system to graduate “ready” students.“We have focused in the past on making students eligible for college, without thinking much about whether they’re really going to be ready to succeed when they get there,” says David Conley, a national leader in defining and promoting college and career readiness, CEO of the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) and a University of Oregon professor.
Conley and his team at EPIC created a model that defines what they call the “four keys to college and career readiness”: think (key cognitive strategies), know (key content knowledge), act (key learning skills and techniques) and go (key transition knowledge and skills).
“Our message is that all students really – the vast, vast majority of students – can make a successful transition and can go on to college,” says Conley, “…but only if we think about readiness more broadly, and if we think about college not as a four-year degree, but we think about it as a wide range of options.”
In today’s Daily Edventure, Conley and I talk about everything from Common Core and how it fits into college readiness, to how educators can clarify what success looks like. We also explore why developing – and measuring (in a low-stakes way) – social skills is essential to helping our students become ready and relevant learners in both school and the workforce. Enjoy!