Getting Ready for College, Careers, and the Common Core


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College, Careers, and the Common Core Bookcover

TAG: Four Keys

Discuss the Four Keys to College and Career Readiness

Review and discuss the four keys model. Refer to table 3.1 , which contains the forty-one aspects of the model.

Use the Four Keys Model to Examine Educational Programs

Examine one or more programs, such as AVID, and identify which aspects of which key the program helps develop.

Identify Range of Strategies to Complete a Task or Deal with a Problem or Challenge

Think of a situation in which you, as an adult, select from among a range of strategies to complete a task or deal with a problem or challenge. How did you develop that range of strategies? How do you choose among them?

Review the Book Website for Programs and Techniques that Teach Cognitive Strategies

What percentage of students would be able to complete an assignment that required them to use the key cognitive strategies? Which key cognitive strategy would cause students the most difficulty? See the website for this book for programs and techniques to teach cognitive strategies to more students.

Review the Sample ThinkReady Task

View the sample ThinkReady task in the appendix. Which elements would be challenging for students? What kind of support or scaffolding could be provided to help them complete it successfully?

Survey Students about Sucess (Aptitude vs. Effort)

Survey students to determine what percentage think success in each content is a function of aptitude and what percentage think it ’s a result of effort. Consider programs such as Carol Dweck ’s Brainology ( or your own approach to get more students to believe effort is the key to success.

Require Students to Expand Their Research Skills Using Research Methods Knowledge Base

Require students to expand their research skills using Research Methods Knowledge Base, a free web-based textbook that familiarizes students with the diverse aspects of social research: formulating questions, choosing a sample, data analysis, ethics, and so on (

Use Pinterest to Collect Research, Concepts, and to Catalogue Colleges or Careers

Have students use the online site Pinterest to collect sources for research, visualize a new concept, or catalogue colleges or careers they are interested in.

Consider Student Aspirations Surveys

Consider informal or self-made surveys or more formal means, such as CampusReady in the appendix, to gather more information on student aspirations.

Develop Student Interventions using the Readiness Continuum

Informally rate the readiness of graduating seniors. Approximately what percentage are at each level of readiness? Develop three interventions to move more students from job and work ready to career pathway and postsecondary ready.

Discuss Dr. Conley’s Definition of College and Career Ready

Discuss Dr. Conley’s definition of college and career ready. What are the implications of thinking about readiness as sufficient knowledge and skills for students to pursue their aspirations? What are the drawbacks of this definition?

Visit the Website of Western Governors University for a Competency-Based Degree Program

For an example of an entirely competency-based college degree program, visit the website of Western Governors University (

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