MAKING MORE STUDENTS COLLEGE AND CAREER READY: What It Means to Be Ready and How to Get the Right Information to Determine Readiness

Portland, OR

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Event Details

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance:
Seminar Series on Access and Success 

"MAKING MORE STUDENTS COLLEGE AND CAREER READY: What It Means to Be Ready and How to Get the Right Information to Determine Readiness"

The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance has organized a seminar series highlighting the latest research on college access, persistence, and success. The goal of the each seminar is to highlight recent research or policy issues related to five areas of the access and success spectrum: early information and awareness, college preparation and readiness, access and choice, transfer and persistence, and success and completion. Each seminar will be held on the researcher's campus or in Washington, DC. The proceedings of the seminars will be used to prepare a primer on access and success for federal policymakers.


Most students enter postsecondary education not fully ready or prepared to succeed in entry-level courses. A college-ready student is able to prepare for, engage with, and process challenging course content and intellectual tasks associated with success in the course, and do so with a high degree of independence. To get to college in the first place, high school students need specialized information to be able to select the right postsecondary environment, secure financial aid, and make a successful transition to what for most is a new cultural environment. All of this requires high schools to provide all students with much more specific and specialized knowledge, challenging intellectual experiences, and specialized learning skills, along with targeted information regarding postsecondary education opportunities, requirements, and expectations, particularly for those who would be first in family to attend college. This chapter identifies, defines, and explains four “keys" to college and career readiness. They include: key cognitive strategies, key content knowledge, key learning skills and techniques, and key transition knowledge and skills. The chapter offers a model for creating a system of assessments and ancillary measures that can be used to gather multidimensional information in each of the four keys in order to help students prepare better and to enable colleges to make better determinations of student readiness for postsecondary education.


Speaker Bio

Dr. David Conley is Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. He is the founder and director of the Center for Educational Policy Research (CEPR) at the University of Oregon, and founder and chief executive officer of the Educational Policy Improvement Center, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational research organization. Before joining the faculty of the University of Oregon in 1989, he spent a total of 20 years in Colorado and California as a school-level and central office administrator in several districts, an executive in a state education department, and as a teacher in two public, multicultural, alternative schools. His areas of teaching and research include the high school-to-college transition, standards-based education, systemic school reform, educational governance, and adequacy funding models. His recent publications include College and Career Readiness: Same or Different? (2012), College and Career Ready: Helping All Students Succeed Beyond High School (2010), and Rethinking College Readiness (2008).Dr. Conley received a BA with honors in Social Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his master's degree in Social, Multicultural, and Bilingual Foundations of Education and his doctoral degree in Curriculum, Administration, and Supervision at the University of Colorado, Boulder

This symposium is co-sponsored by the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC) and the PSU Challenge and LINK High School Programs.

Please direct questions to Brandi Kujala at or (541) 246-2663.