KU News Release

Jan. 20, 2012
Contact: Mike Krings, KU News Service, 785-864-8860

Colorado third state to join KU-developed system for career assessment

LAWRENCE – Another state has joined a collaborative effort to develop a new assessment for determining students' career readiness, the Center for Education Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas announced today.

Colorado will be part of the Career Pathways Assessment System, known as cPass. The tool will use computer-based tests with innovative item types and performance assessments to help students and states compete in an ever-changing global economy and ensure a capable and effective workforce.

"It is with great excitement that the state of Colorado announces its partnership with the Career Pathways Collaborative for the development of a new generation of industry-recognized pathway assessments using valid, reliable, objective and standardized formative, interim and summative assessments," said Cindy Le Coq, interim state director of career and technical education and dean of career and technical education for the Colorado Community College System. "This assessment partnership will support improvements in instruction and learning which will be such a benefit to all secondary students."

"We're excited to welcome another state to this effort," said Scott Smith, assistant director of the Career, Standards and Assessment Services team at the Kansas State Department of Education. "We've long held the view that collaboration among states leads to strengthened processes, so we see the addition of Colorado to the team as a means of helping to ensure we develop a reliable and meaningful assessment system."

Colorado joins Mississippi and Kansas in the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation-led Career Pathways Collaborative. The collaborative was formed to share ideas and resources across states to create high-quality, cost-effective assessments using cutting-edge research.

"We are thrilled to have Colorado join the Career Pathways Collaborative," said Cameron Clyne, career pathways specialist for the center. "Teaming up with experts from states like Colorado will help us achieve our goal to create a state-of-the art assessment because Colorado brings valuable knowledge and expertise in the field of career education."

Other states can join the collaborative. Once states become members of the collaborative, they will have a seat on the governance board, input into the definition of all test and the option of administering any other collaborative-developed tests for a small license fee. However, states that do not join the collaborative will still be able to use the cPass for a higher fee.

Students will use cPass during secondary education to identify their competency in a chosen career pathway. Students also can use cPass to clarify their readiness for a postsecondary program, apprenticeship or entry-level job related to their program of study. cPass will test general skills required for any job such as problem solving and critical thinking, as well as test real-world skills needed in specific career pathways. Currently, nine pathways classified as high wage, high skill, and/or high demand are planned for development: general agriculture, animal systems, plant systems, manufacturing production, manufacturing maintenance, general business, finance, marketing and education/training. However, additional pathways – up to 80 – may be developed as additional states join the collaborative.

The general skills assessment portion of cPass is expected to be developed for use as early as Spring 2013. Subsequent pathways assessments will be released starting shortly thereafter with all nine original assessments expected to be accessible by Spring 2014.

For more than 30 years, the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation has developed cutting-edge, large-scale testing programs and technology tools, including the Kansas Assessment Program, Dynamic Learning Maps, KWIET writing tool and Adaptive Reading Motivation Measures. To learn more about the Career Pathways Collaborative, visit www.careerpathways.us.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

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