College and Career Readiness

In today's global economy, students must be well-prepared for the demands of college and the workplace. The Minnesota Department of Education provides and supports the development of quality resources, tools and strategies designed to assist students as they transition from middle school to high school and into an increasingly wide array of postsecondary options.

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.

Visit the Ready, Set, Go website.

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:

Advanced Placement (AP) is a College Board program that offers Minnesota high school students the opportunity to take rigorous, college-level courses and earn college credit while in high school. The content in AP courses is structured similarly to college coursework. Students who complete an AP course and take the end-of-course examination may qualify for college credit from postsecondary institutions, provided their score meets the institution’s credit policy. These courses prepare students for further education and college admissions offices often look favorably on a history of AP coursework on student transcripts.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
High school students can earn college credit by taking a computer-based test of their knowledge. The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a College Board program that allows students to accelerate their education by skipping introductory college-level courses in subjects they have already mastered through general academic instruction, significant independent study, extracurricular work or volunteerism.  There are 33 exams on a variety of subjects. The time and money saved can be used toward early college completion or to pursue a second major or advanced degree. CLEP exams are accepted for credit by more than 2,900 colleges and universities. Please check with the postsecondary institution of your choice for their most recent CLEP credit policy. Visit the College Board web site for more information.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Training
IB Training is now available for school teams who wish to learn how to plan and implement an IB program. Access the agency calendar to search for IB training dates and locations.

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 or download the My Choices-Dual Credit brochure.