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ACT Selects ASU for Partnership to Change the Game in Educational Technology

Research and Product Development Initiatives
Will Enhance the Future of Learning


IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT, the nonprofit developer of the ACT® test and other educational assessments taken by more than 15 million students worldwide, today announced plans to enter into a research and product development partnership with Arizona State University (ASU). ASU, a highly-regarded research university, has topped US News and World Report’s list of most innovative US universities three years in a row.

Based upon a shared vision on the future of learning, the two organizations are working to identify dozens of advanced research and product development initiatives designed to enhance the future of learning for all individuals, regardless of their background, from K-12 through career.

“We are convinced that, working together, ASU and ACT, both being the thought leaders in their fields, can change the game in education and create better outcomes for everyone, regardless of needs, backgrounds or resources,” said Marten Roorda, ACT CEO. “We selected ASU because of its strengths as a highly innovative higher education institution focused on developing lifelong learners, in addition to our growing portfolio of learning partnerships and investments. With this latest collaboration, ACT will further expand and enhance its impact on learning and assessment.”

To support this innovative partnership, ACT and ASU will establish an institute for research collaboration designed to impact the future of learning. The institute will focus on research related to adaptive learning, workforce readiness and social and emotional learning, among other areas.

Michael M. Crow, president of ASU, said: “It is clear that society and our economy are undergoing massive structural changes. The fundamental nature of ‘work’ will change before our lives are over as learners prepare for careers that don’t even exist today. This will have ripple effects throughout society. Family dynamics will change. Community dynamics will change. Education models will need to continue to change and evolve, which motivates our pursuit of strategic partners such as ACT that have a similar mission and vision, high capacity and global reach.”

The partnership with ASU reflects ACT’s ongoing transformation to an organization dedicated to learning and assessment. Earlier this year, ACT made a $7.5 million strategic investment in Smart Sparrow, an adaptive learning company based in Sydney, Australia and San Francisco.

ACT’s work with ASU will leverage the capabilities, skills, and experience of both organizations as well as their other strategic partners.

Initiatives will be consistent with both organizations’ mutual missions and goals to lead the education world in groundbreaking research and the development of innovative products and services focused on improving learning and readiness.

Guideposts for the institute’s work will include the ACT® Holistic Framework™, a research-based framework that provides schools, districts, states and employers with a more complete and expansive description of the academic and nonacademic factors essential for preparing and measuring student readiness for college and careers.

About ASU

Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

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About ACT

ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as a leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality assessments grounded in nearly 60 years of research. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights that help individuals succeed from elementary school through career.

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