Earn College Credit in High School

In today's global economy, students must be well-prepared for the demands of college and the workplace. We provide and support the development of quality resources, tools and strategies for schools that are designed to help students transition from middle school to high school and into a wide array of postsecondary options.

Earning College Credit in High School
The Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) and Concurrent Enrollment programs allow high school students to earn both high school and college credit by successfully completing courses. Programs challenge students academically and save them time and money. Courses are taught by college instructors or high school teachers who serve as adjunct professors. They might be taught online, or at the high school or college campus. Concurrent enrollment is frequently referred to as “College in the Schools”.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs are another route towards earning postsecondary credit while in high school. A student participating in these courses, however, does not generate a postsecondary grade and credit by passing the course. Instead, students demonstrate mastery of a subject on AP or IB content-based examinations. Scores are forwarded to the postsecondary institution of the student's choosing, and college credit is awarded. (Credit depends upon each institution’s credit policy.) AP and IB courses are rigorous and help prepare students for college-level coursework.

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a College Board program that allows students to accelerate their education by earning college credit by taking a computer-based test of their knowledge. Learning can be done through general academic instruction, independent study, extracurricular work or volunteerism. The time and money saved through CLEP can be significant. Check with the postsecondary institution of your choice for their most recent CLEP credit policy. Visit the College Board website for more information.

Personal Learning Plans
Legislation requires all students to have a Personal Learning Plan no later than 9th grade. This plan should include academic scheduling, career exploration, career and employment-related skills, community partnerships, college access, all forms of postsecondary training, and experiential learning opportunities. Visit the Personal Learning Plans page for more information.

Ready Set Go MN Website
To support our state’s commitment to prepare all youth for postsecondary opportunities, we have developed the Ready Set Go MN website. This site provides resources for college and career readiness and accelerated course options in Minnesota, including tools to help students be successful in high school and resources to help prepare them for postsecondary experiences. Families will find ways to identify and take advantage of available opportunities.

Shaping Your Future Videos
This collection of high-quality videos promotes career and college readiness in Minnesota. All video participants are either Minnesota students attending college or are parents of students who are currently enrolled. They are honest about the barriers they have overcome to reach their current path, including lack of role models, teenage pregnancy, dropping out of school or immigrant status. Some stories are available in Hmong, Somali and Spanish. View them on the Minnesota Department of Education's YouTube page.