National Semifinalists

2017 ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign

View: National Exemplars  |  National Semifinalists  |  State Exemplars

Student Readiness

Alyssa Bursott

West Central High School

Hartford, SD

“One must pave a path to walk on that leads them towards their career and one of the steps you take to get there is college. While everyone knows college teaches you the basics, it also teaches you that there are endless opportunities in your potential career field. Although without college, you can achieve your goals, it often takes longer to achieve them and time is too valuable to be wasted.”

Jessica Diaz

Galena Park High School

Galena Park, TX

“College is a place where a person discovers him or herself and the world while preparing for a career. However, to achieve this one must first prepare for college. Readiness can be defined as 1. Being fully prepared, and 2. Willingness. College and Career readiness means possessing a positive and determined attitude to succeed, along with ensuring that the necessary steps and elements to get there are completed in advance.”

Wyatt Tauber

Nevis Public School

Nevis, MN

“To be ready for college and your career, you need to challenge yourself by choosing classes that both interest you and expand your horizons. In addition, to be fully prepared for the opportunities available beyond high school, you need to be an active leader in your extracurricular activities, community, and workplace. Developing communication, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills are the keys to a successful and self-fulfilling education and career.”

College and Career Transition

George Washington High School

Charleston, WV

“In order to pursue the path of college and career readiness, one must be focused and determined in their approach. This is the result of being motivated and inspired by fellow peers, teachers, and the student’s interests. By setting a goal and remaining committed to it, one can continue to follow down the path they have set for themselves. Being prepared for college means having a destination in mind, and surrounding yourself with the resources to get there.”

LEAD Academy High School

Nashville, TN

“Students who graduate from LEAD are ready for the challenges that lie before them in college and careers due to the focus the school places on rigorous academics and social/emotional learning. Students learn how to persevere through academic challenges, work together in teams, seek support, and advocate for themselves. Every aspect of the school is focused around ensuring that students have the competencies required to be ready for college and ready for life.”

Oakland Early College

Farmington Hills, MI

“At OEC, we value the characteristics of good global citizenship: college, culture, and community.  Good global citizens have a love of learning (college), embrace diversity (culture), and are dedicated to contributing to a better world (community).  At OEC, college and career readiness are at our core.  All of our students are dual enrolled and most are on track to earn an associate degree prior to high school graduation. At OEC, we do high school differently.”

Career Preparedness

AHEC Program - University of Alaska

Anchorage, AK

“College and career readiness is an essential component of meeting high demand workforce needs. It is more than academic and technical skills, it involves identity development, confidence, motivation and inspiration. Teaching these types of intrinsic skills provides students with the drive and determination necessary for success. The Alaska AHEC program partners with healthcare facilities, schools, non-profits, state government and our network of regional centers to provide opportunities for Alaskans, preparing them for training in healthcare careers.”

University of Arizona

Phoenix, AZ

“Our goal is to elevate engaged learning so that it is central to our campus culture. Wildcats maximize their career potential with exciting opportunities to explore their interests, gain valuable professional experience, and connect with our powerful network of employers and community partners.”

Jump Start College Program - Western Nevada College

Carson City, NV

“Western Nevada College is delighted with the success of the Jump Start College program, a dual-credit partnership between the college and fourteen area high schools from eight Nevada counties.  96.3% of the 413 junior and senior participants completed their courses successfully in Fall of 2017 and about 100 with attain their AA degree this spring.”

Workplace Success

Goodwill of North Georgia

Atlanta, GA

“At Goodwill, our mission is a simple one: we put people to work. Every day, thousands of men and women face barriers that make it difficult for them to find work and earn a paycheck to support their families. Sometimes it’s lack of training or education, limited job skills, or a disability. But with the support of donors and shoppers like you, we overcome those barriers. Goodwill gives people the tools they need to find a job which allows them to support themselves and their families.”

McCarthy Building Companies Inc.

Phoenix, AZ

“Supporting the training and development of the young people in our community is a direct investment in a better future for all of us. In Arizona, we are working directly with high school students to introduce STEM careers as exciting and viable options to consider. Understanding what careers are available, how to best be prepared to succeed and next steps are all part of our approach.”

Preble County Development Partnership

Eaton, OH