Increasing College Readiness 2012-2015

Between 2012 and 2015, the Center for School Change worked closely with 6 urban St. Paul, MN public high schools (4 district and 2 charter).  Working with them, we helped produce triple digit gains in enrollment in dual credit courses.  Students who took these courses for college credit had an overall completion rate of 82%.



We helped each school to develop:

-More dual credit courses, where students earn both high school credit and free college credit at the same time (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, College in the Schools, Project Lead the Way, etc.)

-More student enrollments in dual credit courses (20% increase overall, plus at least 50% of juniors and seniors taking dual credit)

-More of a college-going culture amongst students, staff, and families

-Better offerings and school culture to ensure that their graduates do not need remedial education upon enrolling in a postsecondary program



This project was funded through the generous support of several local foundations: Otto Bremer Foundation, St. Paul Foundation, Travelers Foundation, & Frey Family Foundation


Jennifer and Khalique at school board
Two Saint Paul Public School students presented to the Board of Education on their experience in the ICR project.


Partner Schools

AGAPE High School (Saint Paul district school)

Gordon Parks High School (Saint Paul district ALC)

Creative Arts High School (Saint Paul district ALC)

Open World Learning Community (Saint Paul district school)

Community of Peace Academy (charter public school)

Higher Ground Academy (charter public school)

The vast majority of students at each school are students of color and those from low-income families.



The following is a partial summary of activities employed in this project to help the schools “Increase College Readiness:”

-Provide time, resources, and assistance for each school to plan how to best achieve the goals of project.  This included each site choosing which type (or combination) of dual credit programming would be best to serve their school community.  A workplan was created with each school.

-Provide resources for high school faculty to receive any necessary training or professional development.  This included things like AP trainings, and/or meeting over the summer with college faculty.

-Facilitate meetings with students and families to communicate dual credit opportunities and their potential benefits.

-Assist the high schools with creating a direct partnership with a local college to offer concurrent enrollment courses.  Provide resources to cover the start-up costs of these initiatives



ICR Report, February 2015

ICR report Feb 2015


ICR report Feb 2015


In the news


Articles in the Pioneer Press:

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Pioneer Press Letter to the Editor:

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Article on MinnPost:


Blog post in the Star Tribune:


Article in Spokesman-Recorder:




2-min. Interviews with students involved in this project

Check out three brief (2 min.) interviews with students from two of the schools in this project that serve ‘alternative’ students.  College level courses need not be limited to only the “high-flyers”!


Antonia video