Career and College Readiness

Minnesota graduation rate is at 79.5%, up from 77.5% the year before. But this still means that over 20% of students are not completing high school and are at a huge educational disadvantage as they enter adulthood. About half of these students probably will get a GED. It is also important to note that 24% of graduates initially don’t attend college (despite the plans they declare senior year.)  That means that statewide about 44% of students are not attending post-secondary education immediately after high school.

Lack of Academic Preparation for College – Many students that are completing high school struggle academically at college.

28% of high school graduates take remedial courses at state colleges
20% of 4 year college students
49% of 2 year college students

Once they start, how many students are going to college to finish their degrees?

Employment After College

Major selection is key! Many high-demand positions are going unfilled. The choice of a major is very important in today’s job market. There are still great opportunities with 4 year college but there is an exploding demand in two year technical fields mainly in STEM and Medical fields. Some major choices, especially in the some humanities fields, cause graduates to struggle to find work. Kinsey reports that 45% of 4yr College Graduates are taking jobs that do not require a Bachelor’s degree. Also, the students that dropped out from college have lost a significant amount of time and resources.

High demand TECHNICAL college jobs

High demand FOUR-YEAR college jobs

“Success in the New Economy”

The Success in the New Economy video summarizes the changes that are taking place and need for education to adapt to it. A “must see” for parents and career educators.

Definition of College & Career Ready

It means that a high school graduate has the knowledge, skills, and competencies to successfully pursue a career pathway, including postsecondary credit leading to a degree, diploma, certificate, or industry recognized credential and employment. They can also complete credit-bearing coursework in a post-secondary program without the need for remediation.

Questions or comments?

Bart Graves
Education Consultant

Free Resources & Links

Career Planning

ISeek: comprehensive site for information on career planning, education, and job seeking for all ages.

My MN Careers: this is an entry-level site for career planning.

Fastest Growing Jobs in MN (Iseek data)

GPS Lifeplan: Designed for college students but is an excellent portfolio tool for career planning and goal setting. Although anyone can use GPS, only enrolled college students can save their information. It includes some printable checklists and activities that could be used in the classroom.

Shaping Your Future Video Collection: testimonials from college students on their post-secondary experiences. View a sample video – Amber.
All videos are available on a CD (contact NJPA) or on the MDE Youtube Channel

Ready Set Go: this helps to investigate ways to earn college credit while in high school including PSEO, College in School, and more. Also includes a great glossary of terms for higher education.

SLEDS: Provides data on graduation and college attendance from MN and your school. Compare your graduation rate, ACT scores, and college attendance to other schools and state averages.

Financial Aid

The high cost of education will require that most families plan years in advance for college. Financial help is available and completing the Free Application for Student Aid.

Financial Aid 101 is an iSeek link that explains the process.

MDE Student Portfolio Resources

Portfolios can be managed by MCIS or Naviance and both require a fee and login codes. Training is important no matter which program is chosen. ACT also offers a very nice career planning portfolio explained at a video or start working with the ACT Profile. You must have Chrome, Firefox, or Safari operating system and will have to request approval for your school through ACT (easy).

Ramp Up to Readiness is a comprehensive 6-12 college/career curriculum that interfaces with MCIS. Find more information here.

The MDE overall explanation of student portfolios is found at MDE’s CCR page and opening the PPST Toolkit on the bottom of the first page.

ACT Study Materials

All public school students will take the American College Test on April 28. There are many resources available including online study courses, books, dvd instruction, professional in-person courses, curriculums, and youtube videos. ACT offers free practice tests as well as materials for purchase.

One great resource that is often overlooked is the PLAN test that sophomores take as a part of the testing program. Students receive their answers and the test key so they can identify their weaknesses and strengths. One recommendation is that teachers spend some time reviewing material in the format of the ACT. It would be helpful for them to review the standards in their content area.