Student receiving college and career instructions at the career resource center.

Instructors:

Michelle Mazanec
Osseo Senior High
College and Career Readiness
(763) 391-8500

Diane Ahlberg
Park Center Senior High
College and Career Readiness
(763) 569-7600

Mike Vecellio
Maple Grove Senior High
College and Career Readiness
(763) 391-8761

8 Components of College and Career Readiness:

1. College Aspirations:

Build a college-going culture based on early college awareness by nurturing in students the confidence to aspire to college and the resilience to overcome challenges along the way. Maintain high expectations by providing adequate support, building social capital and conveying the conviction that all students can succeed in college.

What needs to be done?

Engage students in conversations about academic performance; help each student implement a program of study; and help students who have high absentee and discipline rates.

How are we achieving it?

  • Teachers mini sessions
  • Ramp-Up To Readiness curriculum
  • Individual student appointments
  • Large group meetings during Ramp Up To Readiness
  • On-The-Spot-Admissions events with local colleges

2. Academic Planning for College and Career Readiness:

Advance students’ planning, preparation, participation and performance in a rigorous academic program that connects to their college and career aspirations and goals.

What needs to be done?

Help students plan and implement a program of study; help students take college, career and technology classes; and help students understand and make the most of their own learning styles.

How are we achieving it?

  • Advisory/Ramp-Up To Readiness curriculum
  • Registration conferences with advisory teachers/planning

3. Enrichment and Extracurricular Engagement:

Ensure equitable exposure to a wide range of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities that build leadership, nurture talents and interests, and increase engagement with school.

What needs to be done?

Help students develop portfolios; teach students how to be more competitive for college and career; and advise students on researching college, career and technical schools.

How are we achieving it?

  • Advisory/Ramp-Up To Readiness curriculum
  • FOCUS leadership group
  • Opportunity Hour each Wednesday to investigate extracurricular opportunities

4. College and Career Exploration and Selection Processes:

Provide early and ongoing exposure to experiences and information necessary to make informed decisions when selecting a college or career that connects to academic preparation and future aspirations.

What needs to be done?

Help students align their college or career and technical school goals; help students access and review applications (paper and online); and help students sign up to receive mailings.

How are we achieving it?

  • Career speakers in CRC
  • Ramp-Up To Readiness curriculum/advisory
  • MCIS research
  • Minnesota Association of Counselors of Color (MnACC) College Fair

5. College and Career Assessments:

Promote preparation, participation and performance in college and career assessments by all students.

What needs to be done?

Help students know the types, importance and use of college and career assessments; help students become test savvy; and help students use test scores and relevant analysis.

How are we achieving it?

  • Ramp-Up To Readiness/advisory curriculum
  • MCIS assessments
  • Career speakers in CRC
  • College representatives in CRC

6. College Affordability Planning:

Provide students and families with comprehensive information about college costs, options for paying for college, and the financial aid and scholarship processes and eligibility requirements, so they are able to plan for and afford a college education.         

What needs to be done?

Ensure students understand financial aid application processes; familiarize students with financial aid publications and applications; and ensure students with special and unusual circumstances (e.g., independent students, students with incarcerated or missing parents, foster care students, and wards of the court) have information.

How are we achieving it?

  • Ramp-Up To Readiness/advisory curriculum
  • MCIS assessments
  • Career speakers in CRC
  • College representatives in CRC

7. College and Career Admission Processes:

Ensure that students and families have an early and ongoing understanding of the college and career application and admission processes so they can find the post-secondary options that best fit with their aspirations and interests.               

What needs to be done?

Provide students with college application completion checklists; ensure students are aware of college and career school enrollment options; and teach students how to access and complete admission applications.

How are we achieving it?

  • College representatives in CRC
  • Fall MnACC College Fair
  • Ramp-Up To Readiness/advisory curriculum
  • MCIS research in RUTR
  • Career Speakers in CRC
  • Mini sessions
  • On-The-Spot-Admissions events

8. Transition from High School Graduation to College Enrollment:

Connect students to school and community resources to help students overcome barriers and ensure the successful transition from high school to college.

What Needs To Be Done?

Help students understand the importance of task completion during the summer transition. This transition includes logistical issues, such as requesting final transcripts, filling out forms, taking placement tests, arranging transportation to and from college or career and technical schools, and getting information for students with disabilities or who are homeless. Help students understand the personal changes ahead and develop an adjustment plan to address difficulties with leaving familiar surroundings and changing relationships with peers and family. This is especially important if the student’s leaving causes changes in family financial circumstances. Help students identify materials and supplies, and develop plans that include early financial planning and shopping checklists. The list might include dorm room supplies, such as bedsheets, suitcases, clothing and toiletries; classroom materials (computers, calculators, notebooks and pens); and supplies for technical school (e.g., drafting tools or uniforms).

How are we achieving it?

  • Admission first-generation college student group sessions
  • Mazanec Mini Sessions
  • Ramp-Up To Readiness curriculum
  • Individual student appointments
  • On-The-Spot-Admissions events with local colleges
  • advertise College Goal Sunday events

 

Ramp-Up to Readiness/Advisory

What is Ramp-Up to Readiness™?

Ramp-Up to Readiness™ is a school-wide advisory program that features an engaging and interactive series of activities designed to help all students graduate from high school ready for post-secondary success. The Ramp-Up Outcomes are focused on the five pillars of readiness: academic, admissions, career, financial, and personal and social readiness. Ramp-Up helps students advance toward meeting those standards as they progress through school.

Advisory Activities

A series of weekly Advisory Activities at each grade level are designed to engage students in interactive learning that not only provide them information about college and career readiness, but also challenge them to think about their own engagement and decision making regarding their postsecondary plans. 

Each Advisory Activity is designed to be 30 minutes in length. Activities cover an array of topics directly tied to one or more of the Five Pillars. A unit may span two to four Advisory Activities. Teacher advisors facilitate these activities approximately once a week throughout the school year during the designated Ramp-Up advisory time.

Activity Overview Sheets for each of the advisory sessions are included in the Implementation Guide. Activity Overview Sheets are clearly written for the advisor with the following sections:

  • Learning target: Indicates, in measurable terms, what students should learn in the activity.
  • Resources needed for this session: States what additional resources (i.e., PowerPoint, worksheet or handouts) may be needed.
  • Opening: Provides the advisor a way to introduce the topic to the students.
  • Activity: Traditionally an interactive activity that has students engaging with one another.
  • Closure: A summary idea that reinforces the main idea of the activity or question that asks the students to reflect on the information or themselves.

Each of the Opening, Activity and Closure sections are given approximate time allocations. It is important for advisory teachers to review activities prior to facilitating them with students, but Ramp-Up is designed to make this easily done in less than five minutes.

Workshops

Throughout each school year, students engage in one Ramp-Up Workshop. The Ramp-Up workshops are designed to provide students with an extended time period to engage with the concepts embedded in the Readiness Pillars with some depth toward working on completing tasks.  Some of the Workshops require the use of computers for each student. School leadership teams should schedule these workshops so computer access is not an issue.

Workshops are the equivalent of one class period in length and can be delivered at a time that works for the school. All of the workshops have an Overview Sheet and a PowerPoint for the advisor to use.

The Ramp-Up Tools

To bring continuity to the Ramp-Up to Readiness Advisory Activities and Workshops, students will both monitor their own progress and plan for their future. The ongoing use of the Ramp-Up Tools helps ensure the Activities and Workshops are not random acts of college readiness, but a coherent sequence of concepts and ideas that move students toward readiness in logical if not linear ways. 

Postsecondary Plan

The purpose of the Postsecondary Plan is to connect career, postsecondary and academic planning as students move from one grade to the next. The Postsecondary Plan is an individualized learning plan that takes into account all 5 of the Readiness Pillars. Students articulate, communicate, and update their plans for life after high school in their Postsecondary Plans. The plan helps students ask and answer the question: What do I want to do with my life after high school?

Readiness Rubric

Using the Readiness Rubric, students continuously monitor their progress toward being college ready by the end of high school. The Readiness Rubric asks students to assess their readiness in areas such as grades, academic belief, self-management, effort and persistence, and standardized and college entrance test scores. The Readiness Rubric helps students ask and answer: What do I need to do to reach that goal? 

Scope and Sequence

There is a sequence for both the Advisory Activities and the Workshops that not only follows a flow for a particular grade, but vertically aligns to the program as students move through Ramp-Up. The scope and sequence also takes into account the use of technology for the Workshops and attempts so that there will not be a strain on a school’s resources with all Workshops requiring computers for students at the same time.  

The PREP

The PREP—or, the Personal Readiness Evaluation for Postsecondary—is a short survey instrument that is used to measure students’ developmental readiness for higher education early enough in the students’ journey to college so the information can be used to inform interventions that can in turn increase the students’ readiness for postsecondary success. The PREP is administered at the beginning and end of middle and high school to serve as a pre- and post-test for personal readiness for college.

Research has demonstrated that academic readiness is not enough to ensure success in college, and that personal readiness has a great deal to do with whether or not students complete a postsecondary certificate or degree program. While academic measurements such as GPA and standardized tests such as the Explore, Plan, ACT, and SAT begin as early as eighth grade, students’ personal readiness for college—such as their motivation, self-regulation, and self-efficacy—are not measured in any standardized way prior to enrollment in college. Measuring a student’s personal readiness for college once the student has already begun college means that it is too late to intervene to ensure that student is able to succeed in college.

The information above was from Ramp-Up. For more information, please visit https://rampuptoreadiness.org/.

Contact

Jeremy Willey
Director
763.391.7148