Every young person needs a postsecondary credential to thrive in today’s world. Yet, as a nation, we fail to provide too many young people with the education they need to succeed. Millions of young people graduate from high school unprepared for college and careers in today’s global economy.
These problems are particularly acute for low-income youth, first-generation college goers, English language learners, students of color, and other under-served populations.
To succeed in college and careers, young adults need more than academic proficiency. They also must acquire college-ready skills, such as self-regulating their learning and navigating campus resources, from faculty office hours to career counseling. A lack of preparation limits many young people, especially those with few supports at school or at home, from achieving the prerequisites necessary to enter credit-bearing coursework and attain a postsecondary credential that leads to a family-supporting career. These circumstances harm not only individuals, but also our economy and democracy, both of which depend on a well-educated nation. They also represent an inefficient use of personal and public investments in education.