College-Readiness Is Not One-Size-Fits-All


  • Wally B. Barnes Sam Houston State University
  • John R. Slate Sam Houston State University


one-size-fits-all, college-readiness, career-readiness, literature review


The purpose of this article is to provide a critical analysis of the one-size-fits-all college-readiness agenda that now guides curriculum and expectations in our nation’s secondary schools.  Although President Obama, in 2010, emphasized the need for college- and career-readiness for all high school graduates, the emphasis is clearly on college-readiness, at the exclusion of other educational alternatives.  College- and career-readiness may be the mantra for the 21st century, but politicians and educational leaders tend to lean heavily on college-readiness when curricular requirements are increased and accountability measures become more stringent, which tends to anchor academic-preparedness.  In this article, educational policy reports, legislative acts, and scholarly journal articles were examined and discussed to illuminate the one-size-fits-all college-readiness agenda and explore the extent to which students should be college-ready.  In the review of recent college- and career-readiness literature, the indication is that, in all likelihood, the one-size-fits-all college-readiness agenda is a dichotomous variable rather than a continuum, which would allow students to make more informed decisions about college goals and career aspirations.

Author Biographies

Wally B. Barnes, Sam Houston State University

Wally Barnes, Ed.D. is Director of the Reading Center at Sam Houston State University.  His research interests are in college readiness and developmental education issues.  Correspondence regarding this article may be directed to Dr. Barnes at

John R. Slate, Sam Houston State University




How to Cite

Barnes, W. B., & Slate, J. R. (2013). College-Readiness Is Not One-Size-Fits-All. Current Issues in Education, 16(1). Retrieved from




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