Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Josh Collins,, 651-582-8205

New Video Series Features Minnesota Youth and Families Discussing Importance of College

ROSEVILLE – Today the Minnesota Department of Education unveiled a series of online videos featuring Minnesota youth and families discussing the importance of attending college. The series—“Shaping Your Future: Why Minnesota Families Choose College”—was produced by Twin Cities Public Television’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) and aims to inspire high school students to consider pursuing higher education, while providing them with important tips and lessons learned about how to prepare for and afford college.

Studies show that by the year 2020, the majority of all jobs in Minnesota will require some form of education beyond high school.

“We know that a postsecondary education opens doors to more career opportunities and better paying jobs,” said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “These videos show the incredible impact higher education is having on families throughout our state. I hope these videos will inspire the next generation of Minnesotans to see college as not only a possibility, but an important step in pursuing their dreams.”

The Minnesota Department of Education and tpt MN worked with college access and success programs, school districts, community leaders and postsecondary institutions throughout the state to find youth and their parents who reflected a variety of journeys to get their postsecondary education. Each had a compelling story to tell, and messages to share with both adults and youth, including messages of challenge, hope, persistence and inspiration.

Editors looked across various contemporary styles of messaging to youth, through video, graphics and music, and applied them in unique ways to the videos in order to reflect the individuality of the interviews and key messages, making them engaging and relevant.

Minnesotans featured in the videos are either students attending college or parents of students who are currently enrolled. They talk openly about the barriers they have overcome to reach their current path, including lack of role models, teenage pregnancy, dropping out of high school, conflicting expectations or immigrant status. Some of the videos are available in Hmong, Somali or Spanish.

High schools, guidance counselors, postsecondary institutions and any other interested parties are encouraged to use the videos on their websites, in a class or presentation, or to share with those considering college.

The collection includes:

Twenty-four interviews:

· Fifteen students
· Five parent and student stories
· Four foreign language parent stories (Hmong, Somali and Spanish)

Five themed montages featuring:

· Students giving advice about getting help related to schooling.
· Students speaking about the things they wish they would have known about college when they were in high school.
· Students speaking about why they decided to attend college, and what they would share with others about choosing to further their education.
· Parents talking about why they feel it is important for their children to go to college, and how they made it possible.
· Parents speaking to how they became involved in their children’s education, with tips for other parents to get involved.

These videos are available on the Minnesota Department of Education YouTube page. Educational institutions may request a DVD by emailing Additional resources for students and families considering postsecondary education will soon be available on the department’s Ready, Set, Go webpage.
About tpt’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN)

TPT’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) is the local production division of Twin Cities Public Television (tpt), the PBS affiliate for Minneapolis/St. Paul. TPT MN partners with local non-profit, educational, governmental, and public service organizations to reach broader audiences throughout Minnesota. These partnership programs educate and inspire Minnesotans on important issues using tpt’s distinctive storytelling skills, television and multimedia resources. These programs are featured on tpt’s Minnesota Channel (MN Channel), a 24/7 statewide broadcasting service. Since its inception in 2003, tpt MN has created nearly 700 television programs in partnership with over 235 non-profit and public service organizations. View past tpt productions.

To learn more, visit tpt MN.