The College and Career Readiness Task Force has identified key areas in which schools can reasonably be expected to take primary responsibility to provide all students the necessary learning experiences and programs of preparation. The four areas are: Key Content Knowledge, Key Cognitive Strategies, Key Learning Skills and Techniques, and Key Transitions. The Texas College and Career Task force has also added a fifth key area, Key Systems, in order to add school-based areas of intervention to the Profile Planning process. These key areas are not mutually exclusive but are interdependent on the implementation of each other.

Key Cognitive Strategies consist of thinking behaviors necessary for college and career readiness. They refer to ingrained ways of thinking about how to pursue intellectual activities. Problem formulation, research, interpretation, communication, and precision and accuracy are the most essential Key Cognitive Strategies. Key Content Knowledge requires overarching academic skills in writing and research combined with core academic knowledge and skills in English, math, science, social studies, and other course requirements identified by the Texas State Board of Education to graduate from a Texas public school. Key Learning Skills and Techniques consist largely of self-monitoring and study skills necessary to manage time and workload independently.

Key Transition Knowledge and Skills are the understanding of how postsecondary education cooperates as a system. This key refers not only to how to navigate college admission, but also how to function successfully once on campus. Texas supports key transitions through a number of state initiatives that assist students to effectively transition from each grade level, as well as throughout postsecondary education and into careers.

Texas College and Career Readiness Standards
The Profile Planning process is intended to promote and support widespread use of the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards. Download the standards.

Seven Principles: What Schools Can Do to Better Prepare Students
The Planning Profile is also based on seven research-based principles that create a college and career culture in today’s schools.
The principles were synthesized from observations made in 38 high schools nationwide that graduate a greater than expected
proportion of the students ready for college and careers and are particularly successful with students who will be the first
generation in their family to attend college. The principles provide a synopsis of what educators and administrators do in these schools (Conley, D. (2010). College and career ready. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass).
Principle 1: Create and maintain a college-going culture in the school.
Principle 2: Create a core academic program that is aligned with and leads to college readiness by the end of twelfth grade.
Principle 3: Teach key self-management skills and expect students to use them.
Principle 4: Make college real by preparing students for the complexity of applying to college and making the transition successfully.
Principle 5: Create assignments and grading policies in high school that more closely approximate college expectations.
Principle 6: Make the senior year meaningful and challenging.
Principle 7: Build partnerships with and connections to postsecondary programs and institutions.


Individualized school site codes for full access to the College and Career Readiness Profile Planning Guide and interactive website tools may be obtained from your assigned Master Trainer or contact the Texas College and Career Readiness Support Center at
for more information.