College and Career Readiness

College and Career Readiness Recognition Ceremony

The Minnesota ACT College and Career Readiness Recognition Ceremony was held on March 3, 2014, at the Minnesota Department of Education in Roseville. Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius and ACT Public Affairs Manager Denton DeSotel presented award certificates to student, high school, community college, and employer nominees.

Eight states are partnering with ACT in 2014 around the goal of college and career readiness for all. One component of the annual campaign is to recognize—across the education and workforce continuum—exemplary college and career readiness efforts by high school students, high schools, community colleges and employers.

Students were selected based upon factors including college readiness scores in English, mathematics, reading, and science; solid growth from grades 8 to 10 and the date of the ACT test administration; and high school GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Minnesota student awardees are: Khadar Abu, Century Senior High in Rochester; Jaeseok Ahn, Wayzata Senior High; Lydia Andresen, White Bear South Campus Senior High; Aderonke Badewa, Woodbury Senior High; Baldemar Balderrama, Roseville Area Senior High; Joseph Billstrom, Waconia Senior High; Ruby Mae DeBellis, Jefferson Senior High in Bloomington; Michael Diaz, South Senior High in Minneapolis; Korey Frandle, Blue Earth Area Senior High; Madelynn Johnson, Maple Grove Senior High; Jiezhen Kuang, Jefferson Senior High in Bloomington; Wesley Lin, Mounds View Senior High; Cali McGauley, Shakopee Senior High; Daniel Okabue, Irondale Senior High; Ryan Patraw, NRHEG Secondary in New Richland; Grace Peterson, Central Senior High in St. Paul; Roy Ramstad, Northfield Senior High; Darby Sauer, Hibbing High School; Sarah Thomas, Roseville Area Senior High; Jackson White, Edina Senior High; and Sandra Yimbo, Osseo Senior High.

Minnesota school awardees included: Central Senior High, Edina Senior High, Mounds View Senior High, Orono Senior High, St. Louis Park Senior High, South Senior High, and Southwest Senior High. Selected schools were ranked on value-added measures of student growth based on ACT’s College Readiness System (EXPLORE, PLAN, and the ACT), ACT Composite residual scores, and growth data.

Selected community colleges included: Alexandria Technical and Community College, Itasca Community College, Northland Community and Technical College, Ridgewater College in Willmar, and Riverland Community College. Community colleges were selected based upon factors such as demonstrated success rates above what are predicted, including one-year retention or transfer to a 4-year institution and three-year graduation rates.

Selected workplaces included: Lakeland Mold Company; Lindar Corporation; Pioneer Care; PlastiCert, Incorporated; and 3M Fabrication Services in Staples. Employers were selected based upon factors such as strong partnerships with local community colleges to increase skill attainment and certification in order to increase workplace preparedness.

ACT presented awards to the state finalists in each of the four categories:

Sandra Yimbo from Osseo Senior High received the Minnesota Student Readiness Award
St. Louis Park Senior High received the Minnesota High School College and Career Transition Award (award accepted by Joann Karetov, Principal)
Ridgewater College in Willmar received the Minnesota Community College Career Preparedness Award (award accepted by Heidi Olson, Dean of Students)
Lakeland Mold received the Minnesota Workplace Success Award. (award accepted by Steve Lackner, Human Resources Manager)

These four awardees will be reviewed by ACT and a national selection committee to select a national award recipient among all participating states. National award recipients will be announced at ACT’s National Gala on College and Career Readiness in Washington, D.C. on June 3, 2014.