Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) & 21st Century Skills
21st Century Skills
Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness
What does it mean to be Postsecondary and Workforce Ready?
“Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness” describes the knowledge, skills, and behaviors essential for high school graduates to enter college and the workforce and to compete in today's global economy.
To be postsecondary and workforce ready, secondary students shall achieve specific content knowledge, learning and behavior skills without the need for remedial instruction or training. This includes the completion of increasingly challenging, engaging, and coherent academic work and experiences, and the achievement of proficiency shown by a body of evidence including postsecondary and workforce readiness assessments and other relevant materials that document a student’s postsecondary and workforce readiness.
What content knowledge will students need to demonstrate for PWR?
To be postsecondary and workforce ready, students will need to demonstrate proficiency in the following content knowledge areas:
- Read fiction and non-fiction, understanding conclusions reached and points of view expressed
- Write clearly and coherently for a variety of purposes and audiences
- Use logic and rhetoric to analyze and critique ideas
- Access and use primary and secondary sources to explain questions being researched
- Employ standard English language properly and fluently in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
- Think critically, analyze evidence, read graphs, understand logical arguments, detect logical fallacies, test conjectures, evaluate risks, and appreciate the role mathematics plays in the modern world, i.e., be quantitatively literate
- Understand and apply algebraic and geometric concepts and techniques
- Use concepts and techniques of probability and statistics
- Apply knowledge of mathematics to problem solve, analyze issues, and make critical decisions that arise in everyday life
- Think scientifically and apply the scientific method to complex systems and phenomena
- Use theoretical principles within a scientific field and relevant empirical evidence to make and draw conclusions
- Recognize that scientific conclusions are subject to interpretation and can be challenged
- Understand the core scientific concepts, principles, laws, and vocabulary, and how scientific knowledge is extended, refined, and revised over time
- Identify and describe historical, social, cultural, political, geographical, and economic concepts
- Interpret sources, and evaluate evidence and competing ideas
- Build conceptual frameworks based on an understanding of themes and the overall flow of events
- Understand how government works in the United States and in other countries, the varying roles individuals may play in society, and the nature of civic responsibility
- Interpret information from a global and multicultural perspective
The Arts and Humanities
- Understand and appreciate how the arts and humanities (expressions of culture and identity through language, movement, sound, and visual representation) contribute to and shape culture and our understanding of culture
- Understand how the arts and literature are used as instruments of social and political thought
- Identify leading innovators in the arts and humanities and the contributions they have made to their respective art forms
What learning and behavior skills will students need to demonstrate for PWR?
To be postsecondary and workforce ready, students will need to demonstrate proficiency with the following learning and behavior skills:
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Apply logical reasoning and analytical skills
- Conduct research using acceptable research methods
- Understand different research approaches
- Collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data and research
- Evaluate the credibility and relevance of information, ideas, and arguments
- Discern bias, pose questions, marshal evidence, and present solutions
- Select, integrate, and apply appropriate technology to access and evaluate new information
- Understand the ethical uses of information
- Provide citations for resources
Creativity and Innovation
- Demonstrate intellectual curiosity
- Generate, evaluate, and implement new ideas and novel approaches
- Develop new connections where none previously existed
Global and Cultural Awareness
- Appreciate the arts, culture, and humanities
- Interact effectively with and respect the diversity of different individuals, groups, and cultures
- Recognize the interdependent nature of our world
- Understand how communicating in another language can improve learning in other disciplines and expand professional, personal, and social opportunities
- Recognize the value of civic engagement and its role in a healthy democracy and civil society
- Be involved in the community and participate in its political life
- Balance personal freedom with the interests of a community
- Plan and prioritize goals
- Manage time effectively
- Take initiative, and follow through
- Learn from instruction and criticism
- Take responsibility for completion of work
- Act with maturity, civility, and politeness
- Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability
- Balance self-advocacy with the consideration of others
- Possess financial literacy and awareness of consumer economics
- Behave honestly and ethically
- Take responsibility for actions
- Understand the relevance of learning to postsecondary and workforce readiness
- Demonstrate awareness of and evaluate career options
- Attend to personal health and wellness
- Read, write, listen and speak effectively
- Construct clear, coherent, and persuasive arguments
- Communicate and interact effectively with people who have different primary languages
- Work effectively with others
- Acknowledge authority and take direction
- Cooperate for a common purpose
- Use teamwork and leadership skills effectively
What career-based knowledge and skills will students need to demonstrate for 21st Century Skills?
To be ready to excel in the 21st Century, students will need to demonstrate proficiency with the following foundational career-based knowledge and skills that will be oriented toward the student's preferred career "cluster":
The student demonstrates the level of academic competency required for his or her chosen career field.
Employability and Career Development
The student demonstrates key employability skills and is actively engaged in his/her own career development including the setting of personal learning, earning, and living goals and establishing a plan for reaching them.
Information Technology Applications
The student understands technology systems and uses information technology tools including the use of basic e-mail functions, web-search applications, software applications (word-processing, presentation, database, spreadsheet), collaborative/groupware, and personal information management/productivity applications.
Leadership and Teamwork
The student applies leadership knowledge and skills, conflict management skills, and an understanding of cultural, social, and ethnic diversity to achieve group goals and consensus.
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
The student identifies problems, understands his/her context, and develops creative solutions.
Safety, Health, and Environmental
The student understands health and safety issues and the existing and potential hazards to himself/herself and others.
The student understands the interrelationship between social, organizational, and technological systems; the effect of systems on the quality of the product or service provided; and the importance of adhering to established policies and procedures.
The student demonstrates the ability to select, apply, and evaluate the appropriate tools, equipment, technology, and processes of chosen career field/cluster.
Further information on 21st Century Skills can be found at: www.21stcenturyskills.org.