College and Career Preparation

All Minnesota students need to be prepared to move successfully from middle school to high school and into an increasingly wide array of postsecondary options. The Minnesota Department of Education helps Minnesota students and educators address the opportunities and new expectations of the 21st century, including global competition, rapidly changing technologies, and the emergence of careers unheard of a generation ago.

We provide and support the development of quality tools and strategies, centralize and disseminate resources, and develop and promote models that successfully implement multiple pathways to postsecondary training or college.

You will find resources for school counselors, students and parents designed to help students explore opportunities and create an education plan that matches their interests, strengths and abilities.

Planning for Students' Successful Transition to Postsecondary and Employment
Legislation requires all students starting in 9th grade to have a "Plan" around 7 key elements.  This plan will have many names but it should be looked at as a life plan that includes academic scheduling, career exploration, 21st Century Skills, community partnerships,  college access, all forms of postsecondary training, and experiential learning opportunities.  This guide provides resources around all 7 required areas, as well as some recognized strategies and partnerships that could assist with implementing this directive. Access the Planning for Students’ Successful Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment (120B.125) Toolkit below.

Ready, Set, Go MN
To support our state’s commitment to prepare all youth for postsecondary opportunities, the Minnesota Department of Education, through funding from the U. S. Department of Education, has developed a new website for educators, families, and students. The Ready, Set, Go website provides valuable resources about college and career readiness and accelerated course options in Minnesota.  Highlights include:

• Tools for students to be successful in high school and prepare them for their postsecondary experiences.
• Information for families on how to access these opportunities.
• An interactive curriculum resource area for educators to support these goals.

The Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS) is a fee-based subscription available in more than 80 percent of Minnesota schools. The system offers interest and skill assessments, information on colleges, program requirements for various occupations, ACT practice tests and more.

The College and Career Readiness System is a group of tests developed by ACT to assess student preparation for postsecondary education. Minnesota will pay for the standard test reports when public school districts offer the EXPLORE test to eighth-graders and/or the PLAN test to tenth-graders. The EXPLORE is a great starting point for students to begin thinking about their academic future.