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ACT Opens Access to the ACT Holistic Framework on a Collaborative Online Platform

Educational Institutions encouraged to align to innovative holistic and expansive framework of knowledge and skills that includes academic and nonacademic success factors

IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT today invited educational institutions to explore, evaluate and align for free to 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.

“ACT takes a holistic view of individuals,” said ACT CEO Marten Roorda. “That is why we have created a framework that is holistic by design, covering all the contemporary factors that nearly 60 years of research revealed individuals need to be successful. As organizations align to it, the framework will serve as a standardized approach, connecting learning and assessment, in order to personalize education.”

ACT is inviting academic researchers and education and workforce stakeholders to evaluate the framework by joining a free, open-source online platform called OpenSALT (Open Standards Alignment Tool). Through this collaborative community approach, ACT is soliciting input that will further define specific knowledge and skills that should be included in the Holistic Framework’s four areas or domains:

  • Core academic skills in the areas of literacy and language arts, mathematics and science.
  • Cross-cutting capabilities including tasks essential to academic performance, such as critical thinking, studying and learning, collaborative problem solving, and information and technology skills.
  • Behavioral skills, such as acting honestly, getting along with others, maintaining composure and sustaining effort.
  • Education and career navigation skills that influence individuals as they navigate educational and career paths, such as making informed, personally relevant decisions and developing actionable, achievable plans.
For teachers and employers, the framework identifies skills needed at various stages from kindergarten to career to assist students or employees who may need additional support or development. Students and employees can use the framework as a developmental guide as they seek to gain the skills and knowledge needed during their personal journey.

“Preparation for college, careers or life requires skills and competencies from multiple domains,” said Donna Matovinovic, ACT senior vice president of test development. “The framework allows users to understand the relationships across these areas so they can improve education and work readiness, navigate life’s transition points and achieve success.”

More details about the ACT Holistic Framework, including information for academic researchers and educators interested in participating in the collaborative community, are available online at

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 national 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.