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.
The heart of the white paper lies in sections 5 and 6, which provide a crosswalk between the CCSS and the DQP. These sections show how alignments and differences between the two may point to a comprehensive preparedness strategy. They also offer a proposal for a multifaceted strategy to realize the potential synergy of the CCSS and the DQP for the benefit of high school and college educators and their students -- and the nation.