Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education ACT WorkKeys Assessment and Curriculum

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Office of Information Technology
Regulatory Authority
ACT 319 of 2021
Response Required
Superintendents; Principals; Test Coordinators; School Counselors; CTE Coordinator (COOPs and regular school districts)

Primary Contact Information

Secondary Contact/s Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text

National Career Readiness Certificate Available for Arkansas Students

With the support from the 93rd General Assembly and the State Board of Education, high school students have the opportunity to earn a nationally-recognized work readiness certificate before they graduate. The passage of Senate Bill 31, which became Act 319 of 2021, prompted the State Board of Education to approve the ACT WorkKeys assessment for this purpose on May 13, 2021.

The WorkKeys assessment measures the essential work skills needed for success in jobs across industries and occupations and represents work readiness through the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC®). The primary purpose of the NCRC is to provide students with a workplace certification that represents their knowledge and skills in Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents.  


Expectations of Every District

  • A public school district and open-enrollment public charter school that serves students in grades 10-12 shall administer college and career readiness assessments including a career readiness assessment that leads to a nationally-recognized work readiness certificate.
  • Students in public school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools in grades 10-12 will be given the opportunity to have a single administration of the WorkKeys assessment (Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents) under the state contract.
  • Districts and schools have the flexibility to determine the grade in which students assess in order to provide students the greatest likelihood of success.
  • The goal is for every student to take both the grade 11 ACT and WorkKeys assessments through the state’s comprehensive assessment system.
Trainings will be offered during the fall semester to work with DTC's and high school staff to successfully implement the ACT WorkKeys curriculum and assessments for students success.

See attached information regarding delivery options for the ACT WorkKeys curriculum and assessment in schools.

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