New Research Finds that "CCRGs" Improve Student College & Career Readiness Planning

In the Spring of 2019, leading research organization WestEd was commissioned (by the nonprofit NewSchools Venture Fund) to conduct an independent study of Spotlight’s College and Career Readiness Guide (CCRG). WestEd found that students are very satisfied with CCRG’s clarity, relevance and impact on their college and career readiness. 

94% of responding students replied Yes – they would like to receive the CCRG again.  

The study identifies the nationwide opportunity for improving college and career readiness and planning when students and families receive the type of personalized, relevant, and actionable information provided in the CCRG. Others have identified the importance of enhancing student access to college and career information and advising. As noted by ExcelinEd, “Distributing information to parents and students about the available options for college and career readiness . . . is vital to ensuring they know what is available.”


WestEd surveyed 900 high school students, and interviewed a small sample of students and parents. They examined the use, appeal, and effectiveness of the CCRG. The study found that most students’ understanding and behavior was positively impacted as a result of receiving the CCRG, noting that it helped them to understand their competitiveness, identify next steps for their readiness and planning, and be motivated to work harder. 

91% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the CCRG clearly presented their progress toward high school graduation and college requirements.  

 “I didn’t really know much about my progress on graduation requirements…

It was helpful to know where I’m at and how I’m doing.” --Student

86% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the Guide clearly communicated helpful information about their college options and competitiveness for admissions. 

[My CCRG] gave me a good view of how competitive I am in high school and what I need to do to better my applications for colleges.” --Student

It was so clear-cut, so clean, so easy to read.” --Parent

The CCRG is used by students and families (and school counselors) in districts across the country, customized for each locality. Through the use of infographics and personalized information, each Guide identifies a student’s progress toward high school graduation, their college and career pathway options, and recommended action steps specific to their needs and goals. As a result, 70% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the CCRG was easy to understand, compared to only 5% who said the report was somewhat difficult to understand.

Importantly, the WestEd study also revealed the importance of “pushing” resources like CCRG to students and parents to ensure all students are aware of and receive the Guide. Spotlight will thus further facilitate delivery of the CCRG through multiple means. With two-thirds of receiving students indicating they read the entire report, only 6% not reading past page one, and 70% indicating the report stimulated their activity . . . the opportunity for impact is even greater as access rates improve.

We’ll be sharing additional study findings in this space. 

Contact us for more information.