The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is a cabinet-level state agency providing students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to post-secondary education. The agency also serves as the state's clearinghouse for data, research, and analysis on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid, finance, and trends.
The Get Ready Program, administered by the MN Office of Higher Education, is an early intervention and college awareness program targeted primarily at low income students and their families and those under-represented in post-secondary education. It is funded primarily by a federal GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) grant through the U.S. Department of Education. The program directly serves students in grades 5 through 12 who are attending nine Minneapolis, St. Paul and Brooklyn Center schools. The program focuses on understanding the importance of goal setting, college planning formation, information about careers and the various types of post-secondary institutions available to achieve different types of career goals, and the various ways to cover the costs of a post-secondary education, and the importance of making good choices when choosing classes in middle school and high school to be prepared to enter and succeed in a post-secondary institution. Key program components include:
1. Curriculum/skill-building student booklets on topics including: goal setting, planning skills, career choices, higher education options, and financing higher education.
2. Tutoring: primarily in the areas of math and reading/language arts.
3. Academic Advising: in middle and high school to help keep students on track.
4. Career exploration opportunities.
5. Field trips to post-secondary institutions.
6. Career and college-focused seminars.
7. Opportunities to attend summer academic camps.
8. Parent materials, events, and workshops.
9. Teacher professional development.