Foundational Pieces

for College & Career Readiness

The Lowcountry Education Consortium is using the findings of the Innovation Lab Network (ILN) that was facilitated by the Council of Chief state School Officers (CCSSO) to define shared beliefs, goals, and vocabulary to build a framework for college and career readiness in the South Carolina Charleston Metro region. Our goal is to build, test, and scale an assessment / internal accountability model that can form the foundation for school transformation that leads to students being prepared for postsecondary and career opportunities.

The ILN’s work propose’s the following definition of college and career readiness which of course may be adapted to local contexts.

“College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness” means that students exit high schoolqualified to enroll in high-quality postsecondary opportunities in college and career, including the U.S. Military, without need for remediation and equipped with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to make that transition successfully. This means that all students must graduate having mastered rigorous content knowledge and demonstrated their ability to apply that knowledge through higher-order skills including but not limited to critical thinking and complex problem solving, working collaboratively, communicating effectively, and learning how to learn. Students must also be prepared to navigate the pathways and systems that will allow them to gain access to positive postsecondary opportunities.”

Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions: The Innovation Lab Network State Framework for College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness, and Implications for State Policy.
  • Knowledge – mastery of rigorous content knowledge across multiple disciplines and the facile application or transfer of what has been learned;
  • Skills – the strategies that students need to engage in higher-order thinking meaningful interaction with the world around them, and future planning; and
  • Dispositions – mindsets (sometimes referred to as behaviors, capacities, or habits of mind) that are closely associated with success in college and career.

ILN’s Framework

The ILN developed a framework based on some fundamental assumptions that can be used by states and districts as a foundational element to their work, and the group suggested that these be tailored to fit local needs. The LCEC is operating on the assumptions outlined below that used components of the ILN work.

Every student should graduate college, career and citizenship ready.

Creating consistently high levels of learning among young people from widely varying backgrounds and with diverse needs will require radical changes in current beliefs, policy, practice and structure;

A strong knowledge base built on defined academic standards is foundational to college and career readiness; they are absolutely essential, but not sufficient;

There is a significant overlap between the profiles of college readiness and career readiness that should be fostered in all students, although additional technical skills may be required for one versus the other; and

Citizenship readiness, or preparing America’s youth to be contributing members of the larger society, is a fundamental mission of public schools.

Adapted from; Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions: The Innovation Lab Network State Framework for College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness, and Implications for State Policy.

At the time of the ILN white paper’s publication the ILN had identified six critical attributes that served as design principles for transformed systems. These attributes are as follows:

  • World-class knowledge and skills,
  • Performance-based learning,
  • Personalized learning,
  • Comprehensive systems of learning supports,
  • Anytime, everywhere opportunities, and
  • Student agency.