Preparing Students for Post-Graduate Success

Students, parents and teachers have been counseled over the years on the importance of ensuring that high school graduates are “college or career ready.”  We’ve written much on the Common Core State Standards, college and career readiness, and the importance of preparing students to face the text demand they are likely to encounter after high school.  The book College and Career Ready by David T. Conley offers more specifics and identifies four key elements that students need in order to be successful in their post-graduate years:

  • Key content knowledge: Conley emphasizes a strong content background in the social sciences, world languages, science, mathematics, and the arts with particularly strong skills in reading and writing.
  • Key cognitive strategies:  This involves students’ ability to undertake challenging learning situations with perseverance. Students are able to use creativity and make conscious decisions that will result in the best possible conclusions.
  • Self-management behaviors: Conley describes a realm of academic behaviors that advance the success of college and career studies. Such behaviors include students’ recognition that a predominant amount of time devoted to learning will be outside of the structured classroom. Time management habits are crucial for a successful college experience.
  • College contextual knowledge: Conley emphasizes the ability of a student navigate through the administrative as well as the curricular processes. Admissions requirements, time lines, college traditions, differing social and cultural backgrounds are only a few of the examples of areas of the college culture that students need to be able to manage in addition to their academic studies.

Dr. Conley’s book offers a plethora of practical suggestions on how parents and teachers can prepare students for the transition from high school to the post-secondary world based upon successful practices, research, and new models. The material is easy to read and the suggestions are manageable and reasonable.  Time reading College and Career Ready would be well-spent.

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