With the growing complexity of the world and the increasing demands of the 21st-century workforce, there is little question that all students should graduate from high school fully prepared for college AND careers.
From an academic perspective, college and career readiness means that a high school graduate has the knowledge and skills in English and mathematics necessary to qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing postsecondary coursework without the need for remediation -- or put another way, a high school graduate has the English and math knowledge and skills needed to qualify for and succeed in the postsecondary job training and/or education necessary for their chosen career (i.e. community college, university, technical/vocational program, apprenticeship, or significant on-the-job training).
To be college- and career-ready, high school graduates must have studied a rigorous and broad curriculum, grounded in the core academic disciplines, but also consisting of other subjects that are part of a well-rounded education. Academic preparation alone is not enough to ensure postsecondary readiness but it is clear that it is an essential part of readiness for college, careers, and life in the 21st century.
Simply put, "college and career readiness" is the umbrella under which many education and workforce policies, programs and initiatives thrive. From high-quality early education and strong, foundational standards in elementary school to rigorous career and technical education programs and college completion goals, college and career readiness is the unifying agenda across the P-20 education pipeline.