Defining College and Career Readiness: Massachusetts Weighs In

Posted on April 7, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

On March 12, 2013, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education released a white paper with a comprehensive list of the essential competencies that define “college and career readiness.” Although there is not much new here, it is a useful list – and I appreciate that it includes both intellectual as well as affective (non-cognitive) behaviors:


Students will be academically prepared to

  • Read and comprehend a range of sufficiently complex texts independently
  • Write effectively when using and/or analyzing sources
  • Build and present knowledge through research and the integration, comparison, and synthesis of ideas
  • Use context to determine the meaning of words and phrases
  • Solve problems involving the major content with connections to the mathematical practices
  • Solve problems involving the additional and supporting content with connections to the mathematical practices
  • Express mathematical reasoning by constructing mathematical arguments and critiques
  • Solve real world problems, engaging particularly in the modeling practice

Workplace Readiness:

College and Career-Ready Students will demonstrate:

  • Attendance and punctuality expected by the workplace
  • Workplace appearance appropriate for position and duties
  • Accepting direction and constructive criticism with a positive attitude and response
  • Motivation and taking initiative, taking projects from initiation to completion
  • Understanding workplace culture, policy and safety, including respecting confidentiality and workplace ethics
  • Oral and written communication appropriate to the workplace
  • Listening attentively and confirming understanding
  • Interacting with co-workers, individually and in teams

Qualities and Strategies:

Students should demonstrate: 

  • Higher order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation
  • The ability to think critically, coherently, and creatively
  • The ability to direct and evaluate their own learning, be aware of resources available to support their learning, and have the confidence to access these resources when needed.
  • Motivation, intellectual curiosity, flexibility, discipline, self-advocacy, responsibility, and reasoned beliefs

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