The Cradle-to-Career System

A statewide data system that will provide tools to help students reach their goals and deliver information on education and workforce outcomes.

It’s on us to make it easy for students to navigate education and job choices. The Cradle-to-Career System provides the data and support infrastructure that will make it possible for every student in the state to thrive.

– Governor Gavin Newsom

What is the Cradle-to-Career System?

The Cradle-to-Career System will be a suite of user-friendly resources focused on early learning through K-12 and higher education, as well as on the financial aid and social services that help students reach their goals. It will include:

    • Planning and application tools for students, families, and educators to streamline the college and financial aid processes and monitor student progress.
    • Dashboards, query tools, and an analytical data set for researchers, policymakers, educators, and community members to inform research, advocacy, and policy analysis.
    • Community engagement and training to raise awareness of the data system and ensure it can be used by students, families, educators, researchers, and policymakers.
Governing board.

Who is it for?

The data system’s tools will be designed to help a wide range of users find the most relevant information and use it to create better outcomes for students.

  1. For Students and Families:
      • Explore key information to help plan for, apply to, and pay for college. 
      • Streamline the college and financial aid application process.
      • Monitor the status of college and financial aid applications.
  2. For Educators:
      • Streamline college and financial aid application review. 
      • Monitor students’ college planning and application progress to support targeted interventions.
      • Develop action plans based on data about learning, supportive services, and employment.
  3. For Advocates and Researchers:
      • Analyze data collected from multiple sources to shape policy and advance educational equity.

Why is the data system being built?

    • California’s information on early education, K-12 schools, colleges, social services, and employment is separate and disconnected.
    • It is difficult to share information to support planning and transitions for students.
    • It is not possible to explore outcomes of Californians–from early childhood through adulthood–and the factors that help shape their outcomes, all in one place.
    • Actionable information needs to be in the hands of communities and families.
Virtual live remote teaching concept. Distance online education exam preparation elearning course.
horizontal timeline.

When will it be built?

The legislature authorized the creation of the Cradle-to-Career System in 2019. The tools were designed via a collaborative 18-month planning process. It involved state agencies, community members, and data experts. The data system will be developed starting in Fall 2021.

For more information on the recommendations developed during the planning process, visit  cadatasystem.wested.org

How will student data be kept safe?

    • Students and their families will access college planning and transition tools through a password-protected interface.
    • When looking at education and job outcomes, the public will only see trends for groups of students.
    • For research projects, individual identities will be hidden and studies must be approved through a request process.
    • The Cradle-to-Career data system will use rigorous privacy and security policies to protect information.
user typing password on computer, security code.

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