Eight Components of College and Career Readiness

Aspire 2 Excellence

The College Board has identified the following Eight Components of College and Career Readiness:

  1. College Aspirations – Building a college-going culture based on early college awareness by nurturing in students the confidence to aspire to college and the resilience to overcome challenges along the way.
    Students and parents should: Visit a local college campus, do a virtual college tour on the web, attend school meetings with college recruiters, attend the annual APS College Night held in October, read college bulletin boards and announcements in the school and on the school website, attend student and parent information nights.
  2. Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness – Advance students’ planning, participation, and performance in a rigorous academic program that connects to their college and career aspirations and goals.
    Students and parents should: Meet with the school counselor to choose the appropriate level courses that connect with each student’s college and career goals. The courses a student selects should stretch and challenge the student and prepare him/her for the rigors of college level work. Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and dual enrollment (DE) courses are advanced level courses offered in APS. College admissions teams review the courses a student takes in high school to make admissions decisions. Students who have taken advanced courses are more likely to be admitted to the college of their choice.
  3. Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement – Ensure equitable exposure to a wide range of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities that build leadership, nurture talents and interests, and increase engagement with school.
  4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes – Provide early and ongoing exposure to experiences and information necessary to make informed decisions when selecting a college or career that connects with academic preparation and future aspirations.
  5. College and Career Assessments – Promote preparation, participation and performance in college and career assessments by all students.
    Students and parents should: Review the outcome of the career inventory assessments that students take in Naviance. Review the Roadtrip Nation videos in Naviance to learn more about a particular career. Ask the school counselor for more information on specific careers, job shadowing or internship opportunities, and work experience programs.
  6. College Affordability Planning – Provide students and families with comprehensive information about college costs, options for paying for college, and the financial aid and scholarship processes and eligibility requirements so they are able to plan for and afford a college education.
    Students and parents should: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), apply for local and national scholarships, invest in the Virginia 529 savings plan, attend all financial aid and college planning information nights at the school.
  7. College and Career Admissions – Ensure that students and families have an early and ongoing understanding of the college and career application and admission processes so they can find the post-secondary options that are the best fit with their aspirations and interests.
    Students and parents should: Decide which college(s) to apply to by making sure the school offers the intended major, making sure the student meets the admissions requirements including the SAT/ACT qualifying score, writing a good essay, getting letters of recommendation, reviewing the cost of attending the school, taking a visit the school.
  8. Transition from High School Graduation to College Enrollment – Connect students to school and community resources to help the students overcome barriers and ensure the successful transition from high school to college.
    Students and parents should: Expect a period of transition and ask for help in areas where the student is struggling. When visiting the school learn more about the student supports that are available on campus to help new students transition to college life. Get involved in campus life to ensure a more rich experience and balance studying with opportunities to grow in meaningful ways and contribute to the campus.