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Capstone Project

How a school can prepare students to become college ready, work ready, business
ready and life ready? Apply the IPO model support your answer with appropriate


What does it mean to be ready, and how can schools prepare students? By
promoting a growth mindset, you can help students gain self-control and deal with
anxiety, and you will put them on the path to becoming mature, productive members
of society. According to Anne Marie Rossi, the executive director of Be Mindful, a
nonprofit educational organization, referred to a Harvard University study in
her TEDx Talk on mindfulness. She cited self-control as the most important skill for
successful life outcomes of health, safety, and wealth. Therefore, success depends
heavily on the ability of a young person to: Focus on tasks, Pay attention to the main
objective Regulate emotions. As any educator knows, self-control is not a skill that
comes easily for many of our youth today. Self-control can often seem like a
mystery in the classroom; some students have it and some don’t.

College Ready:
Schools and parents encouraged students to pursue college after high school
graduation. The goal for schools was to prepare students for college. Schools must
look at what steps to take to help their students advance toward college readiness, not
just high school readiness. Even as students are preparing for life after high school,
life could look very different for them by the time they graduate. When I went to
school, almost everyone planned on going to college after high school. Now, there are
so many more options open to students. There are still public and private universities
for students to pursue traditionally offered degrees. Added to the inventory now
though are vocational schools that teach skilled labor trades, students that head
straight into the workforce, as well as those who decide to take online classes and
either live at home or travel the world. And no one really knows what options will be
available to students in the next five years.

Input: Trained tutors

Process: Academic Tutorials

Output: College Ready

Work Ready:
There is great pressure on both organizations and higher education institutions
to develop skilled workers. As many sectors face a skills gap, employers are
struggling to recruit the right talent, while traditional students graduate with big debts
and limited work experience. It is necessary for this gap between employee shortages
and lack of experience to be filled. Higher educational institutions see this issue and
attempt to resolve this through their curriculum development and embedding soft
skills into degree programs. Today, employers are not only looking for graduates to be
equipped with the knowledge in their specialized fields but also to possess
fundamental transferrable skills to enable them to operate effectively within an
organization, for example, communication, negotiation and time management skills.
In order for employees to function effectively, they need to be able to demonstrate
they have these hidden skills and are able to put them into practice. More programs
are being designed with these skills in mind and are embedded through teaching and
learning strategies. Caution must be drawn, however, to providing graduates with a
balanced competence set. Focusing too much on these skills could lead to more
practical ones being ignored.

Input: Communication, Negotiation, and Activity

Management Skills

Process: Equipped with the knowledge in their specialize


Output: Work Ready

Business Ready:
Many graduates are misinformed about the requirements of a career until they
have already failed in their first jobs. We can help by opening the curtain while
students still have several years left of school. In the Bentley study, 61% of
respondents said that high school students should have field trips to or visits from
various businesses to expose them to different careers. Fifty-nine percent suggested
that high school students proactively receive information about career options and
colleges that offer targeted majors. 

Input: Career planning

Process: Seminars
Output: Business Ready

Life Ready:
Schools have always had their fair share of external observers and evaluators
—those who scrutinize programs, instruction, and curriculum. As I interact with
educators across our country, I fear that this attention has become far deeper and more
intense than ever before. Whether warranted or not, this scrutiny has given way to
questions about how our students are being prepared for their future and not our
present. Unfortunately, an intense focus on accountability has pushed schools into
becoming overly reliant on strict academic measures as opposed to a more holistic
system in which academics are considered alongside equally important life skills. It is
clear that our students will find themselves in a global society that routinely crosses
time zones and cultures. Simultaneously, they will have access to an endless, and
sometimes inauthentic, flow of information and news online. How will these future
world citizens think critically and responsively about their civic responsibilities? Not
only do they need to be equipped with deep analytical skills, they must also be
comfortable relating with—and advocating for—their peers, including those from
different backgrounds.

Input: Activities

Process: Allow students to develop essential life skills

Output – Life Ready


How do you define college, work, business and life readiness? If the new goal for K–
12 educators is to prepare all students to graduate from high school and be ready for
college, work, business and life, then teachers and administrators must begin this
important conversation. In a nation that has traditionally viewed high school
graduation as an opportunity for some, many parents and educators may view college,
work, business and life readiness as political rhetoric. Teachers, administrators, and
school boards can begin having this conversation about what it means to be college,
work and etc. ready. The changes will not come from speeches, new standards, new
assessments, or hoping that more students will graduate from high school. Change
will come when educators define college, work and etc. readiness and begin to ask,
“What is my role?”