The United States is in danger of losing its competitive position in the world economy. The media report that too many high school graduates are unprepared for college and careers, too many jobs are going unfilled because employers can’t find skilled workers, and too many people are underemployed or unemployed because they don’t have the right skills for today’s jobs.
At ACT, we are well aware of the widening gap between the skills people have and the skills colleges and employers require.
For more than 50 years, we have been studying student achievement and conducting research to determine what can be done to help students better prepare for success in college and career. We’ve also conducted cutting-edge research on career skills and workplace behaviors to help adults develop and enhance their careers.
Now, ACT unveils a new plan to provide valuable insights that unlock potential for individuals and organizations alike. Our plan covers the continuum from kindergarten through careers, helping people achieve greater success throughout their lifetime.
We are expanding our programs and focus to help individuals at each new stage in their lives. ACT has long been considered a testing company. From this point forward, ACT will be an insights company.
We are setting the stage for our future course with our new improve yourself campaign. ACT wants to help students and adults improve their knowledge, skills, and behaviors so they can prove themselves to colleges, employers, and organizations.
We are focused on arming Americans with the tools they need to bridge the skills gap and enable them to succeed in the twentyfirst century from kindergarten through career, said ACT CEO Jon Whitmore.
The bottom line? We are striving to help millions of people improve themselves and, in the process, create a better, stronger America with our new continuum of products.
Our programs will provide insights in three areas: achievement, behaviors, and goals. The continuum includes:
- The ACT TestThis curriculum and standardsbased educational assessment and career planning tool measures high school students’ academic readiness for college and career. Millions of high school students52 percent of US graduates in 2012take the ACT every year.
- ACT CompassThis computeradaptive college placement test helps educators quickly evaluate incoming students’ skills and place them in appropriate courses. It is the most widely used postsecondary course placement exam in the United States, annually reaching more than four million students (60 percent) enrolling in twoyear colleges and workforce training programs.
- ACT Career Credentials These offerings include ACT WorkKeys, ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), and additional career credentials powered by WorkKeys. The NCRC has surpassed the GED as the most widely awarded and most comprehensive career skills certificate in America. More than 700,000 NCRCs have been awarded so far this year, and 19,000 job titles reside in the ACT occupational profiles database.
- ACT AspireComing soon, this system will connect student performance from early elementary grades through high school.
ACTs continuum of products will uncover insights about what people have achieved and how they can improve their readiness at every stage along their path toward success, said Jon Erickson, ACT education president. We look forward to helping millions of people unlock their potential and become the best they can be in education and career.