As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, ACT recognized seven individuals and organizations for their exemplary achievement in college and career readiness at an event in October in Washington, DC.
We felt that there was no better way to mark ACTs 50th anniversary than to select and honor a representative sample of the people and organizations who have made significant progress toward accomplishing what we hoped to help them achieve. We are pleased to honor those who use our research and solutions to achieve education and workplace success, said Richard L. Ferguson, ACT CEO and chairman of the board.
Cynthia B. Schmeiser, president and chief operating officer of ACTs Education Division, and Martin Scaglione, president and chief operating officer of ACTs Workforce Development Division, described the awards and helped members of Congress present them to recipients.
This award honors states that have made significant progress toward improving the college and career readiness of their students. Award recipients have increased the likelihood of success for students, their families, and educators through the implementation of coherent policies and initiatives that raise the expectations for and performance of all students.
From left are Cynthia B. Schmeiser, president and chief operating officer of the ACT Education Division; Richard L. Ferguson, ACT CEO and chairman of the board; and Christopher A. Koch, Illinois superintendent of education.
2009 recipients: The Illinois State Board of Education (award accepted by Christopher A. Koch, Illinois Superintendent of Education) and the Colorado Department of Education (award accepted by Jim McIntosh, Office of Standards and Assessment, Colorado Department of Education)
Illinois was one of the first states to recognize that a state test could serve multiple purposes of measuring rigorous state standards, advancing college readiness for all students, and providing increased value for students, parents, and postsecondary institutions. Illinois Learning Standards defined high standards that specifically describe Illinois college and career readiness expectations for all students. Illinois implemented the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) in 2001. The PSAE is designed to align with and measure these standards in the eleventh grade. Included within the PSAE is the ACT® and two ACT WorkKeys® tests (Reading for Information and Applied Mathematics), comprising a comprehensive assessment of college and career readiness.
From left are Cynthia B. Schmeiser, president and chief operating officer of the ACT Education Division; U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet (Colorado); U.S. Representative Jared Polis (Colorado); Peggy Littleton, Colorado State Board of Education; and Jim McIntosh, Colorado Department of Education.
Colorado was one of the first states to send a clear message that all students were expected to reach a level of college and career readiness by the time they graduated from high school so that more graduates could enter and succeed in college and workforce training programs. In April 2000, Colorado established an accountability system in which public schools could be graded on their quality and success. As part of this system, the state implemented the ACT in 2001 as its eleventh-grade, achievement-based assessment to help indicate how well schools are doing in educating students. The knowledge and skills measured by the ACT are closely aligned with Colorados challenging state learning standards.
This award honors schools that have excelled in preparing their students for the rigors of college and career. Award recipients have demonstrated a capacity to successfully accelerate the college and career readiness of their students at rates significantly higher than those of their peers.
From left are Michael Arbogast, principal, South Charleston High School; U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia); and William E. Mullett, director of counseling and testing, Kanawha County Schools.
2009 recipient: South Charleston High School, South Charleston, West Virginia (award accepted by Michael Arbogast, Principal, South Charleston High School)
South Charleston High was selected from among hundreds of public high schools across the nation that administer at least two ACT college and career readiness assessments to monitor students college readiness from eighth through twelfth grade. South Charleston High was among those high schools that had the majority of graduating students taking the ACT in eleventh or twelfth grade after taking EXPLORE® in eighth grade. When ACT examined the last four years of student performance on these assessments, South Charleston High was significantly more effective than the typical high school in advancing students college readiness in English, mathematics, reading, and science.
This award honors states and system developers that have made exceptional progress toward aligning workforce and economic strategies to build stronger communities. Award recipients demonstrate the motivation to institute comprehensive solutions that enhance individual and business workforce success.
From left are Martin Scaglione, president and chief operating officer of the ACT Workforce Development Division; Lil Easterlin, executive director, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce; Linda Zechmann, first congressional district representative, Georgia Department of Education; Debra Lyons, director, Governors Office of Workforce Development, Georgia; and Fred McConnel, Work Ready community manager, Governor's Office of Workforce Development, Georgia.
2009 recipient: Georgia Governors Office of Workforce Development (award accepted by Debra Lyons, Director, Governors Office of Workforce Development, Georgia)
Georgia Work Ready, coordinated by the Georgia Governors Office of Workforce Development, is the states career readiness program, which issues a credential aligned with the National Career Readiness Certificate. Under the program, counties throughout Georgia are eligible to become Certified Work Ready Communities, and this distinction documents the presence of the workforce talent demanded by business, as well as the capability to drive economic growth and prosperity. To earn the designation, counties must convince residents to earn Work Ready Certificates, demonstrate dedication to improving public high school graduation rates, and establish a community-wide commitment to meeting these goals. Nineteen counties have earned the designation to date.
This award honors students who have made exceptional progress in becoming ready for college and career as shown by their academic growth from middle school through high school graduation, their academic achievement, and their potential to excel in postsecondary education.
ACT Achievement Award ACT Education Division President and Chief Operating Officer Cynthia B. Schmeiser with Isaac Santos.
2009 recipient: Isaac Santos, a 2009 graduate of Lincoln Park High School, Chicago, Illinois
Santos grew up in rural Honduras. At age 11, his mother gave him the option of living with his aunt in the United States so he could obtain a better education. He arrived not speaking a word of English, but learned the language quickly. He overcame academic obstacles to greatly exceed all four of ACTs College Readiness Benchmarks when he took the ACT test as a junior. In high school, he was a National Honor Society member, an AP Scholar, an Illinois State Scholar, and a Gates Millennium Scholar. He is now enrolled at Columbia University in New York.
This award honors institutions that have made exceptional progress in the pursuit of workforce readiness through excellence in education and training. Award recipients demonstrate their constant dedication to meeting the needs of students and employees while satisfying employer expectations about workforce skills.
U.S. Representative Jerry Moran (Kansas) (left) and Randy Myers, dean of student services, Hutchinson Community College.
2009 recipient: Hutchinson Community College, Hutchinson, Kansas (award accepted by Randy Myers, Dean of Student Services, Hutchinson Community College)
Hutchinson Community College (HCC) has a long history of responding to the needs of local business. It recognized the potential of the WorkKeys system nearly 15 years ago when it established the first WorkKeys Service Center in the state. HCC initially completed WorkKeys job profiles in selected career areas, and then assessed local high school and community college students to determine whether their skill levels aligned with the profiles. WorkKeys now serves as the centerpiece of the colleges ongoing commitment to aligning the needs of students with those of employers. The college offers WorkKeys assessments to students entering the colleges technical and occupational programs.
This award honors employers that have significantly raised business performance by enhancing the workforce readiness of their employees. Award recipients demonstrate their commitment to helping individuals gain the sustainable workforce skills needed to contribute to the organizations success.
From left are Jay Dunwell, president, Wolverine Coil Spring; Rachael Jungblut, program manager, WIRED West Michigan, Grand Rapids Community College; Richard L. Ferguson, ACT CEO and chairman of the board; and Martin Scaglione, president and chief operating officer of the ACT Workforce Development Division.
2009 recipient: Wolverine Coil Spring (award accepted by Jay Dunwell, President, Wolverine Coil Spring)
A family-owned business for more than three generations, Wolverine Coil Spring is a familiar part of the business community in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company has been manufacturing metal-formed products for a wide variety of customers and industry sectors since 1946. Wolverine Coil Spring served as a pilot site as the National Career Readiness Certificate was rolled out in Western Michigan. Dunwell formed a regional employer group to assist the projects leadership as it pushed forward on goals, strategies, and metrics. He also championed the initiative by organizing employer awareness events and securing business support for the National Career Readiness Certificate.