College & Career Ready

In 2018, America will need more college-educated workers than it will have. The District of Columbia, North Dakota, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Colorado will lead the nation in the share of total jobs requiring postsecondary education. – More


  • The number of high school graduates in Minnesota is declining
  • The percent of graduates “college ready” is insufficient
  • There are great disparities in preparedness between student student groups



Resources from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education:

  • ACT scores of Minnesota high school test takers (ACT National and State Scores can be accessed from ACT, Inc. directly, but the Minnesota Office of Higher Education provides the advantage of interpretation.
  • SAT and PSAT scores of Minnesota high school test takers (SAT College-Bound Senior State Reports can be accessed from the College Board directly, but again the Minnesota Office of Higher Education provides the advantage of interpretation. Note: SAT scores are not as relevant to Minnesota because a much lower percentage of students take the SAT as compared to the ACT.

NAEP Scores – The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a federally administered measure of student achievement in math, science, reading and writing.  Results are made available through State Snapshot reports and a searchable database at the National Center for Education Statistics. Although the NAEP is not intended to be used as a college readiness indicator per se and there has been criticism of using NAEP results in conjunction with other tests (such as the international tests), the results are sound for internal to NAEP state rank types of investigations AND you will find some useful resources if you run a search on “college readiness” at the NAEP site.

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January 18, 2011 – Getting prepared: A 2010 report on recent high school graduates who took developmental/remedial courses – Math is the weakest area. Most students take only one remedial course. Forty percent of Minnesota’s recent public high school graduates who enrolled in public higher education in the state have taken at least one developmental or remedial course within two years after graduation, according to a new report issued today. That is up slightly from a report three years ago, when 38 percent of recent high school graduates took at least one developmental course, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Press release; New Ulm Journal article).

July 20, 2010 – The Condition of College & Career Readiness Class of 2010: Minnesota – Minnesota schools continue to show improvement in overall college readiness yet only 35% of students met all four Composite score benchmarks; some student groups are more prepared than others; job openings and students’ interests don’t coincide; students who take a core curriculum or more perform better than students who do not, ACT, Inc.



UMN College Readiness Consortium – Working to increase the number and diversity of students who graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills and habits for success in higher education. 

Key presentations:

The Case for College Readiness* (Full presentation; 1 hour)

The presentation is also available in segments:

Part 1: Why should college readiness be the goal for all students? (24 minutes)

Part 2: What is college readiness? (16 minutes)

Part 3: What can we do to get all kids college ready? (22 minutes)

* You may be prompted to download the Silverlight application from Microsoft (available for both Windows and Macs).  If for some reason the presentation doesn’t play and a prompt to download Silverlight doesn’t appear, click here

Minnesota P-20 Education Partnership – Working to create a seamless system of education that maximizes achievements of all students, from early childhood through elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education, while promoting the efficient use of financial and human resources.

Learnmore – An initiative to promote discussion and identify new solutions to ensure that more Minnesota children succeed in school and pursue higher education — for their sakes and our state’s future. Be sure to check Educational Attainment Trends.

February 2009 – Educating Minnesota’s Immigrant Students Phase II: Solutions – A proposal to address four challenges many immigrant students face as they make their way toward higher education: information, culture, cost, and language preparation, Citizens League and MACC Alliance of Connected Communities.


Higher Education: How well are our post-secondary institutions meeting the needs of students?

Minnesota Measures – Higher Education Accountability: Gauging the effectiveness of the higher education sector in meeting state goals, Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

  • June 2009 – Minnesota Measures – Provides a statewide perspective on higher education and, where possible, comparisons with Big 10 “peer states”, the national average and other countries to help identify broad areas in which Minnesota excels and where improvement may be needed.
  • April 2008 – Minnesota Measures – Five goals and 23 indicators serve as the organizing framework for the 2008 report and as Minnesota’s public agenda for higher education.
  • February 2007 – Minnesota Measures – Shows a variety of results on 18 preliminary measures identified as important to the state (Press Release).

Minnesota Private College Research Foundation Research Briefs – Selected topics in Minnesota higher education.

University Plan, Performance, and Accountability Reports – University of Minnesota.

Minnesota College Pipeline Data Profile (Updated July 2008) – Compares the progress of Minnesota students through the education pipeline with that of students across the nation and in top-performing states, Postsecondary Connection.

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April 5, 2010 – 2010 State of the University Address: President Robert H. Bruininks – The 2010 State of the University Address was canceled due to the loss of the president’s voice. This paper expands upon his planned remarks.

December 9, 2009 – Minnesota’s 2008 High School Graduates Enrolled in College at Record Rates – Minnesota’s college participation rate hit an all-time high in 2008 with 70.2 percent of the state’s 65,220 high school graduates enrolling immediately in a public or private college after high school. Minnesota’s college participation rate has gradually increased over time and has been among the highest in the nation. But 2008 was the first year 70 percent of its high school graduates enrolled immediately in college. Is it a sign of the economic times or the culmination of years of work to get more students into college?, Minnesota Office of Higher Education (Minnesota Public Radio article).

January 2006 – Engines of Inequality: Diminishing Equity in the Nation’s Premier Public Universities – The University of Minnesota wins an A grade in a new report for expanding access to students of color, but the U earns a D for the academic success of those students once they enter, Education Trust (Pioneer Press article).



Measuring Up – The national report card on higher education, National Center For Public Policy and Higher Education.

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October 2007 – Collegekeys Compact – A call to action for K12 and higher education to get low-income students ready for, into, and through college, College Board (Press Release).

September 2007 – Education Pays 2007: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society – Higher education yields significant rewards to its recipients and society as a whole, The College Board (Press Release).

April 2007 – The Challenge of College Readiness – Research shows a mismatch between high school preparation and college expectations. How can high schools prepare students for college success?, Educational Leadership.

March 2006 – Reading Between the Lines: What the ACT Reveals about College Readiness in Reading – Only 51 percent of 2005 ACT-tested high school graduates are ready for college-level reading—and, what’s worse, more students are on track to being ready for college-level reading in eighth and tenth grade than are actually ready by the time they reach twelfth grade. The clearest differentiator in reading between students who are college ready and students who are not is the ability to comprehend complex texts. This is true for both genders, all racial/ethnic groups, and all annual family income levels, ACT, Inc.