This needs assessment can be used to evaluate policy and practice at the state or system level. It breaks down the core elements of a high-quality career readiness data ecosystem into multiple sections and illustrates what both undefined and established practice look like.
To complete the needs assessment
- Read through the criteria for each sub-element. Note that criteria are provided only for the low end (1 — Undefined) and high end (4 — Established) of the rubric, though it is expected that states may fall somewhere in between.
- Choose a rating from 1 to 4 that best describes where the state falls on the criteria for that sub-element. For example, if the state scores a 4 on most of the criteria and 1 on some of the criteria, then it might make sense to choose a 3 for the overall score for that sub-element.
- Add any additional evidence to describe why you selected this score.
- At the end of each part, pick a summative score for the core element (this could be based on your overall assessment of the core element or an average of the scores for each sub-element).
1 (Undefined): This component is not yet defined or is just beginning to emerge; current state policy meets most of the criteria listed under 1.
2 (Building): This component has some bright spots, but there are still many improvements to be made; it meets some of the criteria under 1, but key considerations allow for more optimism.
3 (Promising): This component is fairly well developed, though there are still some improvements to be made; it meets some but not most of the criteria under 4 and is considered to be more developed than a 2.
4 (Established): This component is extremely well developed and effective, even if there are still minor adjustments to be made; it meets most or all of the criteria listed under 4.
Also note that, while the needs assessment sets a benchmark for a high-quality career readiness data ecosystem, states can take different approaches to reach the outcomes described in the theory of action. The needs assessment is not meant to be prescriptive but rather to provide a benchmark, based on consensus from experts, you can use to assess your state’s progress and identify opportunities for further action. The tool can be applied to the career readiness data ecosystem as a whole — spanning K-12, postsecondary and workforce data — or with a particular focus on one education sector.