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Register for 2019 ACT College and Career Readiness Workshops 

“If you want to use data, you have to invest the time to make it something that everybody can use. The thing I love about ACT is we get lots of data from them.” 

-Alan Shotts, Career Center Coordinator, Cody High School, Wyoming 


Getting good information about your students and knowing how to use it leads to better decision making. The 2019 ACT College and Career Readiness Workshops will show you new ways to use student data and introduce tools to help your students prepare for each step in their learning. 

This year’s workshops will cover:

  • Options for ACT® test preparation and college and workforce readiness 
  • New and updated tools to build core academic skills, behavioral skills, and career navigation 
  • ACT’s transformation to a learning, measurement, and navigation organization 

Come and Meet Us at ASCA 2019!

We want to meet you at the upcoming ASCA Annual Conference June 29– July 2 in Boston! Be sure to stop by ACT’s booth (No. 1100 / 1101). We will help you prepare your students next school year with resources to help your students reach their full potential! 

ACT believes that counselors play a vital role in all areas of a student’s journey throughout their high school years and beyond. We want to show you our appreciation—and help your students—at ASCA 2019. We can’t wait to meet you there! 

ACT CEO Responds to College Board’s Adversity Score

In mid-May, the College Board announced an addition to SAT® test reporting for colleges and universities that includes a student’s school and environmental factors. ACT CEO Marten Roorda responded in a blog post that clarifies why the ACT test will not include an “adversity score,” highlighting specific concerns about “transparency, validity, and fairness.”  

“The algorithm and research behind this adversity score have not been published,” Roorda responds. “It is basically a black box. Any composite score and any measurement in general requires transparency; students, teachers and admissions officers have the right to know. Now we can’t review the validity and the fairness of the score.” 

Roorda believes there were good intentions in the College Board’s decision and says both organizations are responsible for providing equity in learning for students. “But I think admissions officers are already very capable of assessing students’ hurdles without an adversity score,” Roorda says, “and that assessing an individual student’s resilience or grit is a much better measure than neighborhood adversity.” 

Tools to Help You Bridge Readiness Gaps for ELL Students

Educators of English language learners face special challenges in ensuring equity in education. ACT can help you prepare these students for success. 

ACT offers communication tools (videos and text), research, best practices, and information about accommodations for English language learners. Use the ELL toolkit to find all these resources in one place! Many of these tools are available in English and Spanish to help your students and their parents navigate their educational path. 

My Success Student Stories to Inspire Your Learners

Students need to understand they’re not alone—other students locally and nationwide are facing similar challenges and struggles. Hearing success stories from other students can help inspire them to keep going in times of adversity. 

ACT’s My Success campaign features everyday students who share what they’ve learned through their education journey. One student is Sage Dobby of Wyoming, who credits her determination and strong sense of self as her most important assets. “I know it sounds cliché, but never give up and just be yourself because you will never be happy doing something you do not enjoy,” Dobby says. 

Blog: What It Takes to Create a High-Stakes Test

Did you know every ACT test item undergoes at least 16 separate reviews before it’s included on the ACT test?

The process of writing and deploying items for a test like the ACT—a high-stakes test used to determine a person’s future path—isn't a task ACT takes lightly. Countless hours and efforts go into each test question to ensure reliability, validity, and fairness before it's published. 

new post on the ACT Leadership Blog, written by ACT research leaders Dr. Krista Mattern and Dr. Wayne Camara, illuminates the procedures in creating ACT test items, starting with finding the right people to make the test a reality. 

“The collection of this evidence can take months and often years. But it is necessary,” Mattern and Camara write. “The ACT is used to make high-stakes decisions. We owe it to all of our stakeholders—students, parents, educators, and policymakers—to demonstrate that the ACT is a reliable, fair, and valid measure of college readiness.” 

Ask the Expert: How Can Students Navigate Education and Career?

Helping students to understand the path from secondary to postsecondary education and beyond is key to helping them visualize and plan their successful futures. 

This “Ask the Expert” video features Becky Bobek, director of innovative research, design, and consultation at ACT, speaking about how to empower students with self-knowledge during each level of their education. For example, educators should spur K-8 students’ awareness of jobs and occupations and how their interests and values can lead them to their best career fits. Meanwhile, high schoolers should understand how to build on their education and career path in college. 

Report: Student Roadtrip Provides Insights on How to Help Underserved Populations

College and career navigation is a critical step toward future success for underserved students. The 2017 Beating the Odds Roadtrip, conducted by Roadtrip Nation, illustrated this by providing three students with an opportunity to travel across the United States and interview 16 inspiring professionals about their lives, their challenges, and how they were able to achieve education and career success.  

ACT's report details the findings and insights of this event, including: 

  • Conditions and obstacles that influence underserved students’ futures 
  • Factors and actions that support effective education and career paths  
  • Recommendations for stakeholders 

ACT Awarded Grant to Advance SEL Research

ACT has been awarded a grant from NewSchools Venture Fund, a national nonprofit that invests in educators and innovators who want to reimagine learning, to advance its work on social and emotional skills.  
The grant, which is typically awarded to early-stage innovators and educators, rather than established organizations such as ACT, will support further development of ACT® Tessera® , a social and emotional skills measurement program, including the ability to conduct critical research among underserved learners. Funding will also provide a real-world application to demonstrate the efficacy of the ACT Tessera Teacher Playbook for improving social and emotional skills. 

Helpful Tips to Share With Your Students

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Without a set schedule, a leisurely summer morning can easily drift into a lazy day. Use these tips to balance your days so you can make the most out of your break.