The Ramp-Up to Readiness™ Outcomes

Each of Ramp-Up’s five pillars of college readiness is comprised of distinct Ramp-Up Outcomes. Metaphorically speaking, those Outcomes are the building blocks of the pillars. Each captures a key component of college readiness that was identified through extensive reviews of scholarly research and intensive work with students and educators in over a dozen Minnesota schools over a three-year period.

The role of the Ramp-Up Outcomes in Ramp-Up to Readiness™ is to distill the complex components of college readiness into a limited number of statements that can serve as goals for students as they advance through the program and guideposts for staff as they implement it across their schools. Each lesson in the Ramp-Up Curriculum is aligned with one or more of the Outcomes, and Ramp-Up schools are encouraged to include the Outcomes in student handbooks, registration guides, parent and community newsletters and on posters and other materials that students encounter in the course of their progress through school.

Academic Readiness

Outcome: The student has the knowledge and skills to do first-year, credit-bearing, college-level work.

A student who has reached this can:

  • Demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills required for college-level work in English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and Writing as outlined in
  • Score at or above the ACT college readiness benchmarks on the EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT tests (benchmarks found at
  • Think critically, demonstrated through the ability to gather, analyze, synthesize, and present information.
  • Use effective study strategies.
  • Evaluate and revise academic work to ensure accuracy and achieve precision.

Admissions Readiness

Outcome: The student has completed all requirements for admission to the type of postsecondary education that is a match for their goals, interests and abilities.

A student who has reached this can:

  • Describe the purpose of and opportunities offered by postsecondary education in the United States.
  • Explain the main types of postsecondary institutions in the U.S. and the differences among them.
  • Identify the type of postsecondary institution that could be a good match for the student’s academic, career, and personal goals.
  • Outline the admissions requirements for the type of postsecondary institution that the student plans to attend.
  • Plan for and successfully complete the process of applying to at least three postsecondary institutions that are a good match for the student’s academic, career, and personal goals.

Career Readiness

Outcome: The student understands how education increasingly determines income and opportunity in the global knowledge economy, and will know which types of jobs in the future will need skilled workers, will pay enough to support a family and might be a good match for their interests and abilities.

A student who has reached this can:

  • Describe the ways that globalization and technology-driven change are reshaping the workplace and society today and predict ways that those forces will affect the future.
  • Understand and illustrate the great and growing connection between the highest level of education a person completes and his or her later income and quality of life
  • Identify careers and jobs that pay enough to support a family with at least a “middle-class” lifestyle, provide opportunities for advancement within the field, and that will be in demand over the next two decades
  • Identify the knowledge, skills, and habits and the credentials and/or degrees that are required to enter and succeed in a range of careers
  • Identify one or more careers that could be a good match for the student’s talents, interests, and abilities.

Financial Readiness

Outcome: Students will be able to cover the cost for one term of study at a postsecondary institution through savings, loans, work-study, and financial aid.

A student who has reached this can:

  • Create a personal budget and make decisions based upon it.
  • Identify the current and projected cost of study at each of the main types of postsecondary institutions in Minnesota.
  • Explain the major ways that families cover the costs of postsecondary education.
  • Produce a realistic plan to cover the cost of at least the first term of study at the postsecondary institution of the student’s choice through savings, employment, loans, grants, scholarships and other means.
  • Complete the process of applying for needed financial aid.

Personal/Social Readiness

Outcome: The student knows how to set educational goals, make progress toward those goals, and create relationships with peers and adults that support the achievement of those goals.

A student who has reached this can:

  • Set personal goals and continually monitor progress toward reaching them.
  • Operate from a growth mindset, believing that his/her basic abilities can be developed through hard work and persistence.
  • Seek help from adults and peers and use other strategies to overcome obstacles on the road to achieving important goals.
  • Create and maintain positive relationships with teachers, professors and other adults in positions of responsibility and authority.
  • Understand college culture and the practices and habits needed to succeed in higher education, such as skills in time management, studying, working cooperatively, responsible risk taking, and self-advocacy.

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