A graphic showing the relationship between the five readiness goals, curriculum activities, and other Ramp-Up materials.What is Ramp-Up to Readiness™?

Ramp-Up to Readiness™ is a school-wide advisory program that features an engaging and interactive series of Activities designed to help all students graduate from high school ready for postsecondary success. The Ramp-Up Outcomes are focused on the five pillars of readiness: academic, admissions, career, financial, and personal and social readiness. Ramp-Up helps students advance toward meeting those standards as they progress through school.

Advisory Activities

A series of weekly Advisory Activities at each grade level are designed to engage students in interactive learning that not only provide them information about college and career readiness, but also challenge them to think about their own engagement and decision making regarding their postsecondary plans. 

Each Advisory Activity is designed to be 30 minutes in length. Activities cover an array of topics directly tied to one or more of the Five Pillars. A unit may span two to four Advisory Activities.  Teacher advisors facilitate these activities approximately once a week throughout the school year during the designated Ramp-Up advisory time.

Activity Overview Sheets for each of the advisory sessions are included in the Implementation Guide.  Activity Overview Sheets are clearly written for the advisor with the following sections:

  • Learning Target - Indicates, in measurable terms, what students should learn in the activity
  • Resources needed for this session – States what additional resources (i.e., PowerPoint, worksheet or handouts) that may be needed
  • Opening – Provides the advisor a way to introduce the topic to the students
  • Activity – Traditionally an interactive activity that has students engaging with one another
  • Closure – A summary idea that reinforces the main idea of the activity or question that asks the students to reflect on the information or themselves

Each of the Opening, Activity and Closure sections are given approximate time allocations. It is important for advisory teachers to review activities prior to facilitating them with students, but Ramp-Up is designed to make this easily done in less than five minutes.


Throughout each school year, students engage in one Ramp-Up Workshop. The Ramp-Up Workshops are designed to provide students with an extended time period to engage with the concepts embedded in the Readiness™ Pillars with some depth toward working on completing tasks.  Some of the Workshops require the use of computers for each student. School Leadership Teams should work to schedule these workshops so that computer access is not an issue.

Workshops are the equivalent of one class period in length and can be delivered at a time that works for the school. All of the Workshops have an Overview Sheet and a PowerPoint for the advisor to use.

The Ramp-Up Tools

To bring continuity to the Ramp-Up to Readiness™ Advisory Activities and Workshops, students will both monitor their own progress and plan for their future.  The ongoing use of the Ramp-Up Tools helps to ensure that the Activities and Workshops are not random acts of college readiness but a coherent sequence of concepts and ideas that move students toward readiness in logical if not linear ways. 

Postsecondary Plan

The purpose of the Postsecondary Plan is to connect career, postsecondary and academic planning as students move from one grade to the next. The Postsecondary Plan is an individualized learning plan that takes into account all 5 of the Readiness Pillars.  Students articulate, communicate, and update their plans for life after high school in their Postsecondary Plans. The Postsecondary Plan helps students ask and answer the question: What do I want to do with my life after high school?

Readiness Rubric

Using the Readiness Rubric, students continuously monitor their progress toward being college ready by the end of high school. The Readiness Rubric asks students to assess their readiness in areas like grades, academic belief, self-management, effort and persistence, and standardized and college entrance test scores. The Readiness Rubric helps students ask and answer: What do I need to do to reach that goal? 

Scope and Sequence

There is a sequence for both the Advisory Activities and the Workshops that not only follows a flow for a particular grade, but vertically aligns to the program as students move through Ramp-Up.  The scope and sequence also takes into account the use of technology for the Workshops and attempts so that there will not be a strain on a school’s resources with all Workshops requiring computers for students at the same time.  


The PREP – or the Personal Readiness Evaluation for Postsecondary – is a short survey instrument that is used to measure students’ developmental readiness for higher education early enough in the students’ journey to college so that the information can be used to inform interventions that can in turn increase the students’ readiness for postsecondary success. The PREP is administered at the beginning and end of middle and high school to serve as a pre and post-test for personal readiness for college.

Research has demonstrated that academic readiness is not enough to ensure success in college, and that personal readiness has a great deal to do with whether or not students complete a postsecondary certificate or degree program. While academic measurements such as GPA and standardized tests such as the Explore, Plan, ACT, and SAT begin as early as 8th grade, students’ personal readiness for college such as their motivation, self-regulation, and self-efficacy are not measured in any standardized way prior to enrollment in college. Measuring a student’s personal readiness for college once the student has already begun college means that it is too late to intervene to ensure that student is able to succeed in college.

Ten Big Ideas Behind Ramp-Up

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