A developmental approach to college and career readiness puts students at the center.
It's a mystery. Why do some students who seem to have strong college aspirations rarely complete homework or arrive prepared for class? Why do bright students fail to show up for internships and other programs meant to engage students like them? Why do some students who excelled in a college access or enrichment program drop out of college or never pursue the kinds of jobs they prepared for? Students themselves offer clues to this mystery, and by using the right lens, thoughtful educators can be good detectives and find the solution.
Psychology, sociology, and neuroscience provide the basis for a lens that we call the developmental approach to college and career readiness. A developmental approach acknowledges that many social, emotional, and cognitive factors shape college and career paths. Where students are in their development—for example, how they understand their identities and how skilled they are at planning—shapes how they behave and whether they succeed. Identity, motivation, self-regulation, and relationships are central to the developmental processes that influence postsecondary success. But these developmental processes—the clues to the mystery behind students' actions—sometimes go unnoticed.