In 2011, the Arizona College Access Network (AzCAN) convened a Student Standards Task Force (Task Force) to define college and career readiness for Arizona students. In a landscape with increasing higher education costs and limited financial resources, college access programs and school educational staff need the best tools to ensure students complete postsecondary education and continue on to succeed in careers and their lives. A critical part of that includes understanding what it takes —and what it means— for a student to become college and career ready.

AzCAN’s College Access Standards support the state goal of helping all Arizona students succeed in life – from completing high school and postsecondary education to finding success in meaningful careers. Each Standard includes a set of knowledge and behavior competencies that enable students to be college and career ready when they graduate from high school. The AzCAN Standards also align with the National College Access Network (NCAN) Common Measures, a set of indicators to track student progress toward postsecondary enrollment and completion.

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. They establish common measures for changes in mindsets and behavior along the PreK-16 continuum. Our standards also 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.

This toolkit will help college access and success practitioners apply the AzCAN Standards and the NCAN Common Measures to their own activities, programs, and organizations.