Much of our work is based on the Four Keys to College and Career Readiness model, developed by our founder, Dr. David Conley, and EPIC staff. It incorporates over a decade of research on what it takes to succeed in college and career. Download a student-friendly poster that explains what it takes to be college and career ready.
Visit our Four Keys to College and Career Readiness page to learn about the model in detail; in short, the Four Keys are:
Key Cognitive Strategies (THINK)
Students need to do more than retain or apply information; they have to process and manipulate it, assemble and reassemble it, examine it, question it, look for patterns in it, organize it, and present it. They need intentional patterns of thinking to draw on as they complete work after high school.
Key Content Knowledge (KNOW)
Students need strong foundational knowledge in core academic subjects, and they also need to have an understanding of the structure of knowledge (the big ideas and how those ideas frame the study of the subject). However, it is not enough to have students learn high-quality content. They need to understand that success at learning content is a function of effort much more than aptitude.
Key Learning Skills and Techniques (ACT)
Students need skills and techniques to take ownership and successfully manage their learning in educational and career opportunities after high school. In the absence of these critically important skills, students remain dependent learners who struggle when expected to work independently because they lack the needed tool kits.
Key Transition Knowledge and Skills (GO)
Students preparing for a career or to further their education beyond high school must navigate numerous potential pitfalls if they wish to make a successful transition. They must cope with issues ranging from correctly submitting postsecondary applications to knowing when to seek help or advocate for their best interests.
Data Source(s): A Complete Definition of College and Career Readiness