College and Career Ready Definitions

For purposes of statewide accountability, “career and college ready” means 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. Students who are career and college ready are able to successfully complete credit-bearing coursework at a two- or four-year college or university or other credit-bearing postsecondary program without the need for remediation.


Minnesota Department of Education. (2014–2015). Building Pathways to Postsecondary 2.0 Summits. Retrieved from http://readysetgo.state.mn.us/rsgprod/groups/rsgcommunications/documents/basic/000500.pdf

Accountability Metrics
  • Student achievement status on state tests
  • Student growth on state tests
  • Four-year graduation rate
  • Additional graduation rates (five or more years)
Source: Center for American Progress. (2016). Explore the Data for ‘Making the Grade’. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/news/2016/05/19/137455...
College and Career Ready Reporting Metrics
Report Card1
Minnesota Office of Higher Education College Readiness & Participation Data2
Perkins Consolidated Annual Reports4
FAFSA reports5 
Early Warning Systems6
ACT by subject1
SAT by subject2
Concurrent-enrollment participation1
Grade retention6
Academic achievement levels6
CTE enrollment4
CTE concentrators4
Number of concentrators by pathway4
Students reaching targeted level of skill attainment4
Students completing4
Students graduating4
Students entering postsecondary education or advanced training, military service, or employment within two quarters following graduation4
Disciplinary incidents by type1, 6
Minnesota student survey1
Attendance1, 6
Students on track1
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submission and completion5
College enrollment in Minnesota public higher education2
Remedial coursework in postsecondary education2
1. Minnesota Department of Education. (2017). Data center. Retrieved from http://education.state.mn.us/mde/Data/
2. Minnesota Office of Higher Education. (2016). College readiness & participation data. Retrieved from http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=1066
3. Minnesota Department of Education. (2016). Additional tests. Retrieved from http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/dse/test/add/index.htm
4. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. (2016). Minnesota state plan. Retrieved from https://www.mnscu.edu/system/cte/MN_State_Plan/index.html
5. Minnesota Office of Higher Education. (2017). FAFSA data. Retrieved from http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=1990
6. Minnesota Department of Education. (2015). Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System. Retrieved from http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/dse/drop/MEIRS/index.htm
Dual Enrollment and Early College High School

Dual Enrollment and Articulation

Minnesota allows students to earn dual credit in academic and/or CTE dual-enrollment courses through Postsecondary Enrollment Options program and the career and concurrent enrollment offered at their high school, postsecondary institution, or online. Public postsecondary institutions are not required to accept these credits. “However, the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota must, and private nonprofit and proprietary postsecondary institutions should, award postsecondary credit for any courses in a program certified by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (this applies to courses taught at a high school and taught by either a secondary teacher or postsecondary faculty member)” (Education Commission of the States, 2015).

More information about dual enrollment in Minnesota is available at the Minnesota Department of Education website.

Early College High School

Early College High School at Irondale High School recently began the process of becoming the first comprehensive Early College High School in Minnesota. Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Irondale High School partnered to launch the Early College High School program in fall 2012 for ninth and 10th graders, with full implementation by 2014–15 (Mounds View Public Schools, n.d.). More information about Early College High School at Irondale High School is available at the Mounds View Public Schools website.


Mounds View Public Schools. (n.d.). Early College at Irondale High School. Retrieved from http://www2.moundsviewschools.org/irondale/index.asp?ID=2570

Education Commission of the States. (2015). Dual enrollment – all state profiles. Retrieved from http://ecs.force.com/mbdata/mbprofallRT?Rep=DE14A

Career Pathways

Minnesota organizes its secondary CTE programs into six areas:

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Business and Marketing
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Service Occupations
  • Health Occupations
  • Trade/Technical Occupations

Within these areas, Minnesota implements programs of study aligned with all 16 Career Clusters.


National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. (n.d.). Minnesota [Interactive map of state CTE profiles]. Minnesota. Retrieved from http://careertech.org/Minnesota

Career Exploration and Career Plans

In 2013, Minnesota mandated that all students in Grades 9–12 have a Personal Learning Plan (PLP; U.S. Department of Labor, 2013). The PLP is portfolio-based and includes comprehensive academic and life planning tools. It should be revisited and updated annually (Minnesota Department of Education, 2014).


Minnesota Department of Education. (2014). Personal Learning Plans: Pathways to Postsecondary 2.0 Summits 2014–2015. Retrieved from http://readysetgo.state.mn.us/rsgprod/groups/rsgcommunications/documents/basic/000512.pdf

Office of the Reservoir of Statutes. (n.d.) 2013 Minnesota session laws. Retrieved from https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/?id=99&year=2013&type=0

U.S. Department of Labor. (2013). Individualized learning plans across the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/odep/ilp/map/

Alignment Between High School Graduation and State College Admission Requirements

High School and College Alignment


High School Graduation Requirements

College Admission Requirements

English Credits:


4.0 (including composition, literature and speech)

Mathematics Credits:

3.0 (algebra, geometry, and statistics and probability)

3.0 (algebra [2.0] and geometry [1.0])

Social Studies Credits:

3.5 (United States history, geography, world history, economics, and government and citizenship)

3.0 (including American history, geography)

Science Credits:

3.0 (including biology)

3.0 (including biology and physics, each with laboratory experience)

Foreign Language Credits:

None specified (N/S)

2.0 (in same language, including non-English native language or American Sign Language)

Arts Credits:


1.0 ((visual arts and the performing arts of theater, music, dance and media arts)

Additional Credits:



Total Credits:




Graduation Required Assessments for Diploma

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or ACT®


Minnesota Department of Education

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities





Early Warning Systems

Minnesota’s state-specific Early Warning System is called the Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System (MEIRS). Early Warning System Data are reported at the student, school, district, and state levels. Superintendents can request access for principals, school psychologists, counselors, and other staff.


Minnesota Department of Education. (2015). Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System. Retrieved from http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/StuSuc/DropPrev/MEIRS/

Minnesota Department of Education. (2013). Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System (MEIRS) implementation guide. Retrieved from http://education.state.mn.us/mdeprod/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&dDocName=052729&RevisionSelectionMethod=latestReleased&Rendition=primary

Minnesota Department of Education (2015). Early Indicator and Response System overview. Retrieved from http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/Licen/Forms/050418

Minnesota Department of Education. (2015). Minnesota Early Indicator and Response System (MEIRS): Frequently asked questions. Retrieved from http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/Licen/Forms/050416