College and Career Planning Resources

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.

See MDE Related Resources for a link to this site.

The Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS) 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.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Training
IB Training is now available for school teams who wish to learn how to plan and implement an IB program. View the Calendar at the top of the page and search for IB to find training dates and locations.

Your Choice, Your Future
The courses students choose can open doors, or close them. Too often, students register for only the "core" required courses, which may limit their future college and career opportunities. Choosing "more than the core" allows students to better prepare for success in postsecondary coursework and in their future career. Your Choice - Your Future informational flyers and posters are available now. These materials were designed to assist eighth-grade students as they register for their first year of high school. For more information or to order posters or flyers, email: YourChoice.YourFuture@state.mn.us.

Dual Credit Brochure Available to Schools
This informational planning resource provides an overview of postsecondary options and helps students and parents make informed decisions about the future. A number of schools around the state piloted the tool as a part of their student registration process. If you would like to order print copies of the brochure, e-mail mychoices.dualcredit@state.mn.us or download the My Choices-Dual Credit brochure.

FAFSA Submission and Completion Data by School
The U.S. Department of Education has released a new tool for counselors. School officials can now track FAFSA submission and completion rates at individual high schools on the FAFSA Completion website, which will help them ensure that students are filling out the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal student aid—a key factor in families’ college decisions.