Colorado third state to join collaborative to develop innovative new assessment system for career education

The Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation (CETE) at the University of Kansas announces that Colorado has joined the collaborative of educational experts working to develop the Career Pathways Assessment System™ (cPass®). cPass is a new, innovative assessment for determining students’ career readiness. This 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 (CTE)/Dean of CTE, 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 CETE-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 CETE. “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 may still join the collaborative as well. Once states become members of the collaborative, they will have a seat on the governance board, input into the definition of all tests, 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 cPass resources for a higher fee.

Students will use cPass during secondary education to identify their competency in a chosen career pathway. Students can also 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: Comprehensive Agriculture, Animal Systems, Plant Systems, Manufacturing Production, Manufacturing Maintenance, General Business, Finance, Marketing, and Education/Training. However, additional pathways may be developed as additional states join the collaborative, up to as many as 80.

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, CETE has developed cutting-edge, large-scale testing programs and technology tools, including the Kansas Assessment Program, Dynamic Learning Maps™, the KWIET writing tool, and the Adaptive Reading Motivation Measure.