Supporting and Measuring Career Readiness: Hot topics, Common Challenges, and Practical Resources



Warner, M., Yarnall, L., Ball, A., & Jonas, D. (2020). Supporting and measuring career readiness: Hot topics, common challenges, and practical resources. SRI International.


The world of work is changing rapidly and employers increasingly critique the preparation of incoming graduates, with only 11 percent agreeing students have the competencies needed to succeed in the workplace. Add to this picture low college completion rates and high remediation rates and the story is clear: too many students are graduating high school unprepared for college or career.

Educators across the nation are grappling with how to better prepare students to succeed in the workforce, and their efforts are supported by recent federal legislation. However, the rapidly changing workforce makes it challenging to come to consensus around what skills students should have when they leave high school. What does it mean to be “career ready,” and how can such a complex and evolving concept best be assessed and supported?

In an effort to address these questions, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia convened representatives from all ten RELs together with nationally renowned experts for a workshop to discuss how educators and researchers in each region are addressing the development and measurement of career readiness, and to share ideas and resources for how to improve and sync these efforts nationally.

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