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Preparing Students to Succeed in College and Careers


Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and its College and Career Success Research Alliance hosted the filming of “Preparing Students to Succeed in College and Careers,” a one-hour Making Connections public television event designed to foster discussion on how educators, parents, and community institutions can work together to advance college and career readiness and success for students. The telecast aired September 2015 on Twin Cities Public Television.


The event featured a presentation by Paula Palmer, director of Career and College Success at the Minnesota Department of Education, who discussed legislative and workforce imperatives to advance career and college readiness and success in Minnesota. She also shared data on the state’s graduation rate, dropout rate, and workforce needs. Panelists from St. Louis Park High School, Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Iowa College Access Network highlighted ways that parents, educators, businesses, and institutions of higher education can prepare students to succeed as they enter postsecondary education and the workforce. In addition, the presenters shared practical experiences and strategies to enhance student success after high school, with an emphasis on building collaboration among stakeholders.


This event was designed to address the U.S. Department of Education’s priority area of college readiness, access, and completion.




Erick Danielson, Supervisor, Iowa College Access Network

Damon Gunn, Program Coordinator, Parent Academy, Minneapolis Public Schools

Kara Mueller, Career and College Readiness Coordinator and Career and Technical Education Director, St. Louis Park High School

Paula Palmer, Director, Career and College Success, Minnesota Department of Education

Matt Soldner, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research


Related Resources


Kreamer, K. B., O’Hara, M., & Curl, C. (2014). Making career readiness count. Washington, DC: Achieve and National Association of State Directors of Technical Education Consortium. Retrieved from


McAlister, S., & Mevs, P. (2012). College readiness: A guide to the field. Providence, RI: Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. Retrieved from


Schwartz, R. B. (2014). The pursuit of pathways: Combining rigorous academics with career training. American Educator, 38(3), 24–29, 41. Retrieved from