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Are MN High School Graduates College Ready?


Overall, Minnesota does well in moving students from public high school to college. Nearly 80 percent of Minnesota public high school graduates enrolled in college within two years of graduation. But not all graduates enrolling in college are at the same academic preparedness. According to the new Minnesota Office of Higher Education Getting Prepared 2015 report, 27 percent of 2012 Minnesota public high school graduates enrolled in one or more college developmental education course within two years of graduation.

The most recent ACT results also show that not all high school students would be college ready using ACT's benchmark definitions.

Disparities in developmental education enrollment exist for key groups of students: students of color, non-native speakers and lower-income students.

To help students needing an academic boost, colleges enroll some students in a math, reading or writing development education course. If these students receive the skills needed to continue and succeed through college completion, developmental education is a good option. However, there has been some critique about the use and need of these remedial courses. Many educational organizations are calling for reform. Complete College America's report, Remediation: Higher Education's Bridge to Nowhere highlights many of the issues concerning developmental education.

The majority of development educational activity is provided by Minnesota state colleges (two-year community and technical colleges). These colleges have open admission policies and enroll about half of Minnesota's 271,000 undergraduates. These colleges, however, enable students to attain occupational certificates or diplomas and earn a living-wage job in several occupations without being assessed "college ready."

Education should not stop at grade 12. Students need to understand that what and how they learn in high school will impact their future. Improving a high school graduate's employment and long-term earnings, training, and education beyond high school is key. The annual median wage of college graduates increases with each level of education.

Development Enrollment Trends

In Minnesota, the percent of public high school graduates enrolled in one or more developmental credits during fall term has remained relatively stable at 29 to 27 percent between 2007 and 2012.

The percent of High School Graduates enrolled in Developmental Courses Appears Stable (27%-29%) from 2007-2012

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