Standards

AzCAN’s College Access Standards outline the factors critical to students’ postsecondary success and provide a guide for professionals along the PreK-16 continuum to prepare all students to be college and career ready. AzCAN Standards:

  • provide common, consistent language around competencies for students to become college and career ready
  • establish common measures of changes in mindsets and behavior along the PreK-16 continuum
  • help practitioners identify program strengths and areas for additional supports, which can be used for organizational or programmatic decisions, communications, or reports to funders, and to more easily align efforts with other practitioners.

STANDARD 1: Students build awareness and build aspirations about postsecondary options, including college and careers.

  • KNOWLEDGE

    Students gain a deeper understanding of:

    1.1 The different types of postsecondary education pathways, and the career opportunities associated with each pathway.
    1.2 The relationship between educational achievement and social, economic and societal benefits.
    1.3 How their own abilities, skills, interests and motivations intersect with college and career options.
    1.4 The value of lifelong learning as essential to life goals.

  • BEHAVIORS

    Students can acquire this understanding through these behaviors:

    1.5 Exploring subjects of interest and related postsecondary and career options.
    1.6 Identifying careers of interest.
    1.7 Engaging in conversations with college students, professionals, and other adults who can offer insight on potential college and career pathways.
    1.8 Participating in college visits, career days, and related activities that expose them to college life and postsecondary options.
    1.9 Establishing personal, career, and complementary postsecondary educational goals.

STANDARD 2: Students recognize the roles of social, emotional and cultural factors that affect their postsecondary planning and transition.

  • KNOWLEDGE

    Students gain a deeper understanding of:

    2.1 How having personal responsibility and resilience can strengthen college-going aspirations, behaviors, and beliefs.
    2.2 How race/ethnicity, gender, income, and/or family background impact values, attitudes, and beliefs.
    2.3 Strategies for addressing personal challenges and leveraging personal strengths to overcome any potential barriers (e.g., stereotypes, financial hardship) to success.

  • BEHAVIORS

    Students can acquire this understanding through these behaviors:

    2.4 Making postsecondary choices that are rooted in their own aspirations and values.
    2.5 Persevering toward postsecondary goals in the face of any potential barriers.

STANDARD 3: Students build a rigorous academic foundation and develop academic behaviors essential to preparing for postsecondary pathways.

  • KNOWLEDGE

    Students gain a deeper understanding of:

    3.1 The relationship between educational achievement and academic behaviors in high school and success in college and career.
    3.2 Opportunities within and outside of school for academic enrichment.
    3.3 Learning strategies (e.g., self-regulated learning, goal setting) and cognitive strategies (e.g., problem formulation, research interpretation, communication, precision and accuracy).

  • BEHAVIORS

    Students can acquire this understanding through these behaviors:

    3.4 Building life skills (e.g., time management, personal organization).
    3.5 Establishing challenging academic goals.
    3.6 Completing a rigorous college preparatory academic program (e.g., AP, IB, honors, dual enrollment).
    3.7 Monitoring course selection, credit accumulation, course grades and GPA to ensure on-track progress toward graduation.
    3.8 Engaging in academic supports, as needed.
    3.9 Participating in extra-curricular and leadership activities that help build life skills.

STANDARD 4: Students develop a comprehensive support system that contributes to their academic success.

  • KNOWLEDGE

    Students gain a deeper understanding of:

    4.1 The benefits of leveraging parent and family resources, as well as school and social supports, to enhance academic success.
    4.2 The attitudinal and behavioral characteristics of college-going peers.

  • BEHAVIORS

    Students can acquire this understanding through these behaviors:

    4.3 Engaging in conversations and interactions with family members and peers about college goals.
    4.4 Establishing strong connections with caring adults, inside and/or outside of school, who are supportive of postsecondary aspirations and can assist with postsecondary college planning process and transition.
    4.5 Establishing strong connections with likeminded peers interested in postsecondary attainment.

STANDARD 5: Students acquire the college knowledge and skills necessary to successfully transition into postsecondary education pathways.

  • KNOWLEDGE

    Students gain a deeper understanding of:

    5.1 The college-going process, including college assessment tests, admissions processes, potential majors/course of study options and admission requirements.
    5.2 The difference between high school and postsecondary options with regard to academic expectations and student life.
    5.3 Where to find resources within the college environment and how to access individuals for support.

  • BEHAVIORS

    Students can acquire this understanding through these behaviors:

    5.4 Participating in test preparation activities for SAT, ACT, and/or other assessments.
    5.5 Completing college assessment tests.
    5.6 Exploring, identifying, applying to and selecting postsecondary options that match academic, career and personal goals.
    5.7 Accessing guidance and supports, as needed, to successfully navigate the college application, admission and enrollment processes.

STANDARD 6: Students understand the fundamentals of financial literacy and financial planning for postsecondary education.

  • KNOWLEDGE

    Students gain a deeper understanding of:

    6.1 The components of financial literacy for financing postsecondary education.
    6.2 The various financial aid and scholarship options for financing postsecondary education.

  • BEHAVIORS

    Students can acquire this understanding through these behaviors:

    6.3 Evaluating postsecondary options based on cost and value.
    6.4 Exploring a variety of financial aid options and supports.
    6.5 Applying for financial aid.
    6.6 Making informed postsecondary decisions that include a plan for funding.

STANDARD 7: Students enroll, persist and successfully complete a postsecondary education program of study.

  • KNOWLEDGE

    Students gain a deeper understanding of:

    7.1 The enrollment components and requirements for a selected postsecondary institution, including for summer bridge/transition programs.
    7.2 How to strike a balance between school, work and social responsibilities.
    7.3 The relationship between educational achievement in college and career success.

  • BEHAVIORS

    Students can acquire this understanding through these behaviors:

    7.4 Enrolling in a selected postsecondary institution.
    7.5 Participating in summer bridge/transition programs, as needed and available.
    7.6 Monitoring course selection, credit accumulation, course grades and GPA to ensure on-track progress toward graduation.
    7.7 Seeking help from instructors and individuals providing academic support, as needed.
    7.8 Exploring career opportunities (e.g., through internships, job fairs, informational interviews) and/or graduate school options during school and following graduation.