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ACT is Focused Forward in 2024

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe another year is ahead of us, with all the possibilities it portends. As I think back on 2023, I’m proud of what ACT was able to accomplish – and I appreciate this opportunity to share briefly how those achievements are setting us on a strong course for 2024. 

Last year, ACT continued to demonstrate its role as a thought leader in education and workforce. In October, we convened more than 400 workforce and economic developers, employers, human resource specialists, educators, and industry leaders for our sixth annual Workforce Summit. The event, our major yearly outreach to this key constituency, focused on resolving talent shortages, strategies for preparing emerging workers, upskilling current workers, building skills-based ecosystems in communities, the future of workforce learning, new paradigms of workforce engagement, supporting workers in transition, and building resilient economies. 

We also continued to advance our strong research agenda. We brought the insights of students to the public through our student voice series, which has examined their perspectives around issues such artificial intelligence, education disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects of the pandemic on students’ college and career choices, garnering media coverage that collectively had more than 390 million views. ACT’s research on grade inflation, first released in 2022, continued to be a newsmaker with new research in 2023 that showed persistent subject-matter grade inflation, particularly in math and science. And in October, ACT released our annual National Graduating Class Report for 2023, which contained data on the “COVID cohort,” showing that a previously seen trend in declining college and career readiness had been accelerated by the pandemic. 

It’s not just our more than 60 years of data and insights that makes me proud. Last year, ACT told you that we would be bringing digital testing to the national market – something we’ve successfully been doing in state, district, and international testing for years – and we did! In December we delivered the first pilot test administration, and we’re on track to make the online version of the test available to all students this fall. 

But perhaps the most exciting thing we did last year was announce ACT’s vision for the future: By 2032, ACT will empower 20.2 million more learners to exit high school ready for postsecondary and work opportunities. And it is with that vision in mind that ACT is focused forward, looking ahead to what we can deliver in 2024. Our holistic suite of resources helps students discover and navigate pathways toward college and career readiness and success through: 

  • Amplified connections and access for students to college and career opportunities. 
  • New and enhanced products that reflect redefined readiness.
  • Actionable insights and analytics to support decision-making and recruitment and retention strategies.

We have much planned as we look ahead. Guided and driven by our long-term strategic vision, we will be expanding and enhancing the solutions we offer to help learners and their champions assess their knowledge and skills – as well as the processes and platforms by which we make meaning from those assessments and translate them into insights of value for those users as well as educators, employers, and others who share a stake with us in the education and workplace ecosystem. Over the course of this year, you’ll hear more from me and other ACT leaders about how we are focused forward – laser focused – on delivering on our vision and how we intend to get there. We can’t do this without you, so please stay connected, reach out, and watch this space for more news from ACT. I can’t wait for all we’ll accomplish together in 2024 and beyond!