School-wide Approach

Why is a school-wide approach important?

Given all of the requirements and challenges that secondary schools face in the 21st century, why should they also adopt a systematic school-wide strategy for increasing college and career readiness? One answer can be framed in terms borrowed from the economic concept of supply and demand.

Efforts to increase the supply of academic rigor available to students will only succeed if they are met by increased student demand for that rigor. Without that demand, far too many students will not elect to take or to work hard in the types of courses that will best prepare them for postsecondary success.

All across Minnesota, secondary schools are working to increase the “supply” of academic rigor they make available to students. For example, they are greatly increasing the number of dual credit courses they offer—from Advanced Placement to International Baccalaureate, Postsecondary Enrollment Options and College-in-the-Schools programs. Ramp-Up has been designed to raise students’ demand for academic rigor by ensuring that all students understand that what they do in school today will impact their quality of life tomorrow.

Because Ramp-Up is intended to help all students in a school embrace rigor, gain access, maintain motivation, and practice persistence, it is envisioned as the base of a pyramid of interventions that together constitute a school-wide approach to college and career readiness. Above that base are interventions for targeted groups of students who need additional support, such as AVID and College Possible. At the top of the pyramid are personalized interventions for individual students who are highly at risk of not becoming college ready and career ready by the end of high school.

Graphic of the Ramp-Up pyramid. At the base is the Ramp-Up curriculum for all students. In the middle is targeted programs for students who need more support. At the top is individualized interventions for students who need intensive assistance.

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