Evening the Odds for College-Bound Students:
Applying a Holistic Approach to Career and College Readiness Curricula

The Career & College Clubs℠ (CCC) program for students in grades 7-12 has demonstrated great success—with one study showing the program increasing odds of college enrollment by 85%. The research-based, peer-to-peer curriculum contains lessons and activities in domains such as academic preparation, leadership, social and emotional learning, and professional etiquette.

CCC is a program of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP). To ensure the CCC curriculum provided the clearest paths to future success for students, NCCEP applied the ACT® Holistic Framework™ to the program. The Holistic Framework provides a multidimensional approach to student readiness that includes a focus on interests and behaviors (social-emotional learning) along with the general cognitive skills traditionally taught in classrooms. The skills, which ACT research shows are most needed in postsecondary and career environments, are defined as:
  • Core academic skills
  • Cross-cutting capabilities
  • Behavioral skills
  • Education and career navigation skills
The result: a program that uses a more complete approach and understanding of college and career readiness, adopted by K-12 schools and nonprofit organizations and reaching more than 50,000 students.
About the ACT Holistic Framework

About Career & College Clubs

Alex CasillasDr. Alex Casillas is a Principal Research Psychologist at ACT. He led a multidisciplinary effort to design and implement a research-based framework that articulates what effective behavior looks like from third grade through career as part of the ACT Holistic Framework. He currently leads efforts to engineer assessments using design science and evidence-centered approaches to design and consulted with NCCEP on the redesign of the Career & College Clubs curriculum. He has published dozens of articles and chapters in peer-reviewed outlets and has presented at national and international conferences. Alex received his BA in Psychology from Grinnell College and his MA and PhD in Clinical Science from The University of Iowa.

Joe BoothJoe Booth serves as Director of Career & College Clubs at the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP). The Career & College Clubs curriculum is focused on helping students prepare for success in high school, college, and life. Prior to joining NCCEP, he served as Managing Director of Corporate Public Affairs for ALL Management Corporation, where he led the organization’s policy and college access initiatives. In addition, Joe has previously served as Executive Director of the Scott Community Foundation and Assistant Vice President of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation. Joe holds a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Arts from Xavier University. He and his family live in Los Angeles.

Eva LucEva Luc is GEAR UP Director at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, where she manages the federal grant program to prepare 1,000 students and families for college success through early awareness and long-term support. Prior to this, Eva was the Director of Development of Institutional Funders at Alliance, where she managed government, foundation, and corporate funding to support Alliance's 25 schools. Previously, she was an Education Pioneers Graduate Fellow at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy and an Academic Advisor/Program Specialist at the University of Southern California (USC). Eva began her career as an English teacher in South Korea. She is the first in her family to graduate from high school and college. Eva received her Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/East Asian Languages and Cultures from USC.