College & Career Readiness

This section outlines career and college readiness requirements for students first enrolled in grade 8 in 2012-2013 and later (likely grade 12 students and younger in school year 2016-2017). Based on the revisions to Minnesota Statutes 120B.30 and 120B.125, districts have a number of requirements to fulfill for students' career and college planning; however, students are not required to achieve a specified score on an assessment in order to graduate or meet graduation assessment requirements.

Districts must assist students with career and college readiness, including the following:

  • Offering students in grades 11 and 12 an opportunity to participate in a nationally recognized college entrance exam on a school day.
  • Assisting students no later than grade 9 in exploration and planning activities for career interests or postsecondary education.
  • Districts must insure they are assisting students with each of the areas outlined in the bullets above, and it is up to the district to determine how these areas are met. Minnesota Statute 120B.30 requires a school or district to record a student's progress toward career and college readiness on the high school transcripts of students first enrolled in grade 8 in the 2012- 2013 school year and later.
  • The statute states a student is college and career ready if the student is able to successfully complete credit-bearing coursework at a two- or four-year college or university or other credit-bearing postsecondary program without need for intervention.
  • OFFER OPPORTUNITY FOR COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAM Districts must provide students the opportunity to participate in a college entrance exam on a school day, but individual students are not required to participate. Only the ACT (ACT and ACT with Writing) and SAT (SAT and SAT with Essay) are considered nationally recognized college entrance exams. MDE expects districts to administer the versions of the exams with the writing component included to provide students the most comprehensive information. Districts annually determine which assessment(s) will be offered and enter into a contract with the service providers, ACT or College Board.
The following provides additional clarification about student participation:
  • The district determines which assessment to offer, or may choose to offer both (i.e., both ACT with Writing and SAT with Essay).
  • The district must offer a college entrance exam each year on a school day to students. Even if the district already offers one of the assessments on a national test date, the assessment must be offered to all students on a school day.
  • The college entrance exam must be offered in both grade 11 and grade 12, and students will decide if they will participate and in which grade they will participate. It must be offered in both grades 11 and 12 as a student may choose not to participate in grade 11, for example, but may choose to participate in grade 12. Students will only have one college entrance exam reimbursed by the state.
  • Each district will determine how the assessment opportunity will be communicated to students and families (e.g., letters to students/families, notification on the district/school website).
  • Students can choose to take the college entrance exam on a national test date, and the district can request reimbursement for eligible students.
  • The opportunity to participate should be available to all students. However, an appropriate college entrance exam is not available for students with significant cognitive abilities who are eligible to take the MTAS. Therefore, it is not necessary to offer a college entrance exam to these students. Districts are expected to contract and pay for the administration of the college entrance exam and request reimbursement from MDE. Beginning in 2016-2017, the SAT and SAT with Essay will also be reimbursed in addition to the ACT and the ACT with Writing. MDE will reimburse only one college entrance exam per student. Districts can use the Student Assessment History Report under Assessment Secure Reports on the MDE website to determine if reimbursement has been provided for a student.
  • Districts use the Graduation Requirements Records (GRR) system to request reimbursement once results are received from the service provider. Refer to Chapter 9 for additional information on the GRR system.
  • Student results must first be received to ensure that students who districts are requesting reimbursement for completed testing; during a program audit of reimbursements, MDE will request student results.
  • It is possible public school districts will be entirely reimbursed for the 2016-2017 administration but MDE cannot guarantee full funding. If full funding is not provided, reimbursements will be distributed proportionally.
    Home-school and nonpublic students are not eligible to take a college entrance exam at a public school during a school day. These students may participate on a national test date or nonpublic schools may contract directly with one of the service providers. Nonpublic schools and students may be reimbursed for the administration of the ACT (ACT or ACT with Writing) or SAT (SAT or SAT with Writing), but timing of the reimbursement for nonpublic students (if funds are available) will be examined after all reimbursement requests have been received for public school districts.

Districts must monitor student development of and growth in career and college readiness. Districts regularly identify needed curricular and instructional adjustments, as well as individual students' academic strengths and needs for targeted interventions or remediation.
ASSIST STUDENTS IN EXPLORATION AND PLANNING ACTIVITIES Districts must also assist students no later than grade 9 in exploration and planning activities for career interests or postsecondary education. This plan must be reviewed and revised at least annually by the student, the student's parent or guardian, and the school or district. A component of this plan is providing an interest inventory to the student. It is up to the district to determine how to best meet the requirement. MDE does not endorse a particular product for the career interest survey

Contact: Kevin McKeever