A Developmental Perspective on College and Workplace Readiness

Looking at research on college readiness, workplace readiness and youth development, Child Trends identifies areas of consensus as well as gaps – and finds many opportunities for high schools to ensure youths’ successful transition to adulthood by focusing on developmental competencies.

The researchers suggest that college and workplace readiness criteria should be expanded to include things such as healthy behaviors, avoiding risky behaviors, positive mental health, resilience, a strong work ethic and moral character, social competence and creativity, and having a sense of purpose. Likewise, the researchers say that youth development strengths should be expanded to include specific communication skills needed by employers, and the ability to reason. 

The report includes a chart of key competencies suggested by Child Trends as applicable for college, work and adulthood, replete with an indication of the strength of the research behind each competency. Free, 49 pages. (202) 572-6000,


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