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Ramp Up

Why Ramp-Up?

Why Ramp-Up to Readiness?

In the Fall of the 2013-14 school year, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a new law (Statute 120B.125) that requires all school districts to assist their students (no later than 9th grade) in exploring their college and career interests and aspirations. Once a student has defined these things, then schools are to help students develop a plan for a smooth and successful transition to postsecondary education or employment. One of the central themes of the Ramp-Up to Readiness program is the foundational belief that “all students can and should be prepared for postsecondary education.” (University of Minnesota, 2012). It is therefore the goal of the program to ensure that all 9th through 12th grade students are given the information that will both assist them in making good choices for their futures and preparing them with the skills to excel in those choices.

This belief is also one shared by the Minnesota State Legislature’s “World’s Best Workforce” bill and by the Willmar Public School District. Through the partnership of the University of Minnesota and Willmar Senior High School staff, we believe that we can bring highly relevant information to our students about life after high school and equip them with the tools that they will need to succeed. 

These plans are then collected and called “Portfolios” and include 7 key elements:

  1.  An emphasis on a rigorous academic schedule
  2.  Exploration of career and college interests
  3.  Training in skills for 21st Century Employment
  4.  Attaining community partnerships
  5.  Providing information on college access
  6.  Training for postsecondary options
  7.  Providing experiential learning opportunities

These portfolios are to be reviewed at least annually by students, their parents/guardians, and the school to ensure that each student’s course choices align with their college and career goals.

For more information , please visit the Minnesota Department of Education’s webpage.

In order to meet the new Minnesota Legislation, called the “World’s Best Workforce” bill, as well as to meet our own goals in working with students, the Willmar Senior High School staff began to search for a comprehensive and evidence-based program that helped bring a postsecondary focus to our school. In our search, we found the Ramp-Up to ReadinessTM program to be the perfect fit!




In their research, the College Readiness Consortium at the University of Minnesota found that in order to best prepare students for their postsecondary futures, students must be equipped with the appropriate tools in five main areas:

  1. Academics
  2. College Admissions
  3. Searching and Preparing for a Career
  4. Financial Management
  5. Personal and Social Skills

Learn more at