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Blog – College and Career Readiness

The Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance: Equipping states and districts to support students’ postsecondary success

By Cora Goldston | December 14, 2021

REL Midwest reflects on its five-year partnership to help prepare students for college and careers in Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, and Iowa.


Taking steps toward competency-based education

By Cora Goldston | September 27, 2021

How can you tell when a student truly knows the material? Competency-based education is one approach. Find out how REL Midwest is supporting a shift to competency-based education in Minnesota.


Career and technical education: Providing pathways to increase workforce equity

By Sara Mitrano, Kyle Fagan, and Kelly Reese | August 12, 2021

Two district-level practitioners in Indiana shared how their career and technical education programs are using equity-focused strategies to increase access and prepare all students for success beyond high school.


Virtual networked improvement community reflects on lessons learned in the use of rapid inquiry cycles to improve teaching and learning

By Maggi Ibis | July 22, 2021

REL Midwest facilitators of a virtual networked improvement community in Minnesota recently wrapped up a year of work and reflected on their challenges and lessons learned, particularly during the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Constructing a profile of students who focus on career and technical education in high school: Who are they and do they benefit?

By Joni Wackwitz | June 28, 2021

At the request of state policymakers, REL Midwest examined whether the characteristics and outcomes of Indiana and Minnesota students who focused on career and technical education in high school differed from the outcomes of other students.


Networked improvement community celebrates progress in using data to improve student credit recovery

By Maggi Ibis | May 18, 2021

A Minnesota networked improvement community of alternative learning centers recently celebrated progress toward improving student credit recovery rates and, ultimately, high school graduation rates.


Report examines the association between high school choice in Indiana and students’ college and career readiness and early college success

By Maggi Ibis | March 15, 2021

A new REL Midwest report examines how Indiana high school students’ performance on indicators of college and career readiness and early college success varied by the type of high school that students attended.


Gear up for college: Expanding Black and Latino students’ postsecondary opportunities and readiness

By Laura Checovich | December 3, 2020

REL Midwest provided trainings to the Chicago GEAR UP Alliance on effective and practical strategies for supporting Black and Latino students along their pathways to higher education.


Leveraging research to promote equitable learning opportunities for students of color

By Maggi Ibis | October 28, 2020

District leaders with the Janesville school district share how resources developed through the REL Midwest Achievement Gap Research Alliance are helping them close opportunity gaps and promote educational equity.


New video highlights how a network of educators worked to improve graduation rates for high schoolers in alternative programs

By Cora Goldston | September 28, 2020

Learn how REL Midwest, the Minnesota Department of Education, and a networked improvement community of teachers worked to improve graduation rates at alternative high schools.


Setting goals to stay on track: Using a continuous improvement process to strengthen credit recovery and high school graduation rates

By Laura Checovich | May 20, 2020

REL Midwest teamed up with the Minnesota Department of Education and four alternative learning centers to improve competency-based credit recovery and high school graduation rates.


Resource roundup: Competency-based education

By Joni Wackwitz | May 20, 2020

Competency-based education, often used in online learning and credit recovery, enables students to learn and advance at their own pace. Browse these resources from across the REL network to learn more.


Resource roundup: College persistence and completion

By Sara Mitrano | March 25, 2020

This roundup of resources from the RELs and other relevant networks highlights factors and strategies that may influence and support college persistence and completion.


Resource roundup: Career and technical education

By Sara Mitrano | February 25, 2020

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. To celebrate, we rounded up resources on CTE from across the REL network.


REL Midwest public TV documentary examines Black students’ higher education aspirations

By Laura Checovich | February 25, 2020

REL Midwest hosted two screenings of our new public television documentary High Hopes and Higher Education: Honoring Black Students’ Aspirations in Madison, Wisconsin.


Event recap: Supporting postsecondary success for students with special needs

By Cora Goldston | January 30, 2020

REL Midwest co-hosted an event with the Minnesota Department of Education on helping students in special education prepare for college and a career. Read on for the highlights.


Video: Findings from our postsecondary pathways report

October 28, 2019

This video explains the key findings from REL Midwest’s study of the education and employment pathways taken by Minnesota high school graduates.


New report finds variation in students’ postsecondary pathways

By Cora Goldston | October 28, 2019

REL Midwest examined students’ college and career outcomes one year and then six years after high school graduation. Learn more about our key findings.


Understanding the landscape of credit recovery in Minnesota

By Laura Checovich | October 28, 2019

REL Midwest worked with the Minnesota Department of Education to identify credit recovery programs and practices in use across the state to support high school students’ success.


Infographic: The state of credit recovery in Minnesota public schools

September 19, 2019

REL Midwest worked with the Minnesota Department of Education to conduct an environmental scan of practices and programs used to support students’ credit-recovery efforts. This infographic summarizes the scan’s main findings.


Closing gaps to support the future workforce

By Marguerite Huber | July 22, 2019

REL Midwest is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Education to support school districts in closing opportunity and learning gaps and preparing students for the workforce.


New report examines technology use in instruction in rural schools

By Laura Checovich | July 22, 2019

REL Midwest examined rural Iowa high schools to learn more about teachers’ integration of technology into instructional practice. Read on to see what we found.


What happens when high schoolers are given school options?

By Laura Checovich | May 20, 2019

REL Midwest is conducting a study to analyze how students’ high school completion and early college success are associated with different types of high schools. The findings will help Indiana support high-quality practices that improve student outcomes.


REL Midwest public TV screenings provide a deep dive into career preparation in rural communities

By Marguerite Huber | March 20, 2019

Screenings of REL Midwest’s public television program, “Ready for the Future: Career Preparation in Rural Communities,” enable educators to explore the topic in depth with experts from the field.


Building connections to support career readiness

By Cora Goldston | September 21, 2018

Dominique Bradley, the new partnership facilitator for the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance, is building bridges between state and local education staff to improve career readiness for all students.


Resource roundup: Supporting career readiness in rural schools

By Joni Wackwitz | September 21, 2018

We rounded up these career readiness resources from the REL Program and the College and Career Readiness and Success Center with rural educators in mind.


Supporting the creation of a postsecondary readiness indicator

Marguerite Huber | June 22, 2018

A group of technical assistance providers, including REL Midwest, offered expertise and resources to help the Iowa Department of Education develop its Every Student Succeeds Act postsecondary readiness indicator.


Resource roundup: Summer learning

Joni Wackwitz | June 22, 2018

Grab a cold drink, find a comfortable spot in the sun, and browse our roundup of high-quality resources on summer learning from across the REL network.


Ask A REL resource roundup

Marguerite Huber | March 22, 2018

Look no further than the Ask A REL reference desk for your education research questions. Check out this compilation of our most recent Ask A REL responses across a variety of topics.


What predicts early college success in Indiana?

Marguerite Huber | March 7, 2018

REL Midwest assisted in understanding the early college success of students entering Indiana’s public two- and four-year colleges, with a specific focus on students receiving financial aid.


Personalized learning: Answering implementation questions

Cora Goldston | February 26, 2018

A new networked improvement community will examine the implementation of Personal Learning Plans for students’ postsecondary preparation.


Bringing a school counselor perspective to our career readiness work

Joni Wackwitz | February 26, 2018

The newest member of the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance, Leah Zimmerman, is a licensed school counselor who helps students chart their career paths amid the ever-changing world of work.


Developing future-ready students in rural areas

Marguerite Huber | February 26, 2018

Regional events help inform REL Midwest’s work around rural issues, particularly when it comes to ensuring that students graduate ready to enter the workforce.


Have you seen these recent career readiness resources?

Emily Kirkwood | February 26, 2018

You won’t want to miss these resources from the College and Career Readiness and Success Center focused on the education-to-workforce pipeline and REL Midwest on American Indian education.


Top 7 facts about REL Midwest in 2017

Meredith Lukow | November 20, 2017

For a by-the-numbers overview of the year, check out these top facts you should know about Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest’s work in 2017.


Education research resource roundup

Emily Kirkwood | November 8, 2017

In case you missed them, we compiled a list of REL Midwest reports and other resources that were published in 2017.


Policymaking in Indiana benefits from cross-agency data collaboration

Jim Lindsay | October 18, 2017

The Indiana Network of Knowledge (INK), part of the state’s Management Performance Hub, develops structures, rules, and processes for the state’s longitudinal data system. Using data from this system, REL Midwest partnered with INK to explore the relationship between financial aid and early college success for disadvantaged students.


Cultural awareness in the classroom: American Indian education and cultural competency

Sarah Rand | September 27, 2017

This post features programs implemented by the Office of Indian Education at the Minnesota Department of Education that are aiming to improve educators’ cultural competence when educating American Indian students.


Career readiness resources and events

Claire Suh | August 24, 2017

A number of high–quality resources related to career readiness are available online. We curated the following resources, including...


Project takes deeper dive into World's Best Workforce plans

Emily Loney | August 23, 2017

REL Midwest is collaborating with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to do a 'deep dive' into district World's Best...

State liaison builds coalitions among researchers and local stakeholders

Claire Suh | August 23, 2017

For Taishya Adams, the Minnesota state liaison for Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest, the North Star State is familiar...

Meet the partnership facilitator: Jenny Scala

Cora Goldston | August 17, 2017

Jenny Scala may be new to the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance (MCRRA), but this isn't her first collaborative...

Meet the alliance member: Paula Palmer

Joni Wackwitz | August 17, 2017

Paula Palmer, a member of our Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance (MCRRA), is the director of career and college success...


Beating the odds (2)

Charter Schools (2)

College and Career Readiness (42)

Data Use (32)

Discipline (4)

Early Childhood (31)

Educator Effectiveness (36)

English Learners (10)

Literacy (11)

Math (1)

Online Courses (7)

Research Tools (2)

Rural (14)

Teacher Preparation (24)

Teacher Recruitment (2)

Teacher Retention (2)

Teacher Workforce (14)

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