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A Path to Alignment: Connecting K-12 and Higher Education via the Common Core and the Degree Qualifications Profile

Abstract

"The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which aim to assure competency in English/language arts and mathematics through the K-12 curriculum, define necessary but not sufficient preparedness for success in college. The Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP), which describes what a college degree should signify, regardless of major, offers useful but not sufficient guidance to high school students preparing for college study. A coordinated strategy to prepare students to succeed in college would align these two undertakings and thus bridge an unfortunate and harmful cultural chasm between the K-12 world and that of higher education. Chasms call for bridges, and the bridge proposed by this white paper could create a vital thoroughfare.

The white paper begins with a description of the CCSS and an assessment of their significance. A following analysis then explains why the CCSS, while necessary, are not sufficient as a platform for college success. A corresponding explanation of the DQP clarifies the prompts that led to its development, describes its structure, and offers some guidance for interpreting the outcomes that it defines. Again, a following analysis considers the potential of the DQP and the limitations that must be addressed if that potential is to be more fully realized."

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