The Minnesota Department of Education is promoting its new "Ready, Set, Go" website to help high school students prepare for higher education. With sections for educators, parents and students, the site discusses getting college credits while in high school by taking Advanced Placement (AP), concurrent courses, Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEP), and looking at career and technical education.
According to the website, today’s students will need some form of higher education to succeed in the workforce. The website is an important tool for ensuring that students take advantage of the post-secondary options available to them while also preparing them for the next step after high school.
Debates about the cost and student college debt raise questions for parents and students about the merits of college. In a recent New York Times article “College, Still Worth It”, authors show the correlation of income level and various levels of educational attainment. The article goes on to say, “nothing guarantees financial success but postsecondary education opens the door to higher-paying jobs that are not available to people with fewer skills.” Taking advantage of high school courses that grant dual credit–high school and college credit–can be a start in covering the cost of higher education.
Thinking about careers and college is more than a life-ime income consideration. A trade school or two or four year college degree shows employers that students have skills and ability, are able to meet expectations, and have the drive to finish what he/she starts. A student’s passion is another consideration. Parents and students must have conversations about what are the student’s interests and skills – where does he/she fit into the top 25 percent.
Expectations for preparing for some type of post secondary education are changing. First, parents and students must begin the college discussion earlier. Plans begin in middle school as to what courses to take in middle and high school. Eighth grade students take the pre-ACT test EXPLORE which provides valuable information to help plan for high school. Second, parents and students must discuss how much time the student is willing to commit to studying outside of class – yes, homework. Middle school and high school courses are becoming more rigorous in order to meet career and college readiness expectations and require more work outside the classroom.
An entertaining YouTube video to encourage and inform students about college and planning for high school can be found with this article. As always, talk with your counselor for additional information.
This information was provided by the St. Michael-Albertville School District on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Education.