To provide all students with skills and knowledge needed for life success, research and discourse on effective education reform must identify and critically examine pathways that lead to college and/or rewarding careers. There is widespread acknowledgement that a strong education is a prerequisite for full participation in economic life. Estimates suggest that the difference in lifetime earnings among high school graduates and high school dropouts approaches half-a-million dollars. Engaging students' diverse needs and educational interests is a necessary strategy for promoting individual accomplishment, as well as sustaining our nation's long-term global competitiveness. Continued exploration into programs and practices that help students' successfully pursue their education is precisely the type of "hands-on" work required to promote an engaged and productive citizenry.
The Rennie Center's College and Career Success study area examines educational pathways that lead to high levels of educational attainment, including: high school dropout prevention and recovery, alternative and vocational education, competency-based education, college readiness, community college, and multiple pathways to prosperity.