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New video series presents importance of college

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) recently unveiled a series of online videos featuring Minnesota youth and families discussing the importance of attending college.

The series “Shaping Your Future: Why Minnesota Families Choose College” was produced by Twin Cities Public Television’s Minnesota Productions and Partnerships (tpt MN). It aims to inspire high school students to consider pursuing higher education, while providing them with tips and lessons learned about how to prepare for and afford college.

Studies show that by the year 2020, the majority of all jobs in Minnesota will require some form of education beyond high school.

“We know that a postsecondary education opens doors to more career opportunities and better paying jobs,” said MDE commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “These videos show the incredible impact higher education is having on families throughout our state.”

MDE and tpt MN worked with college access and success programs, school districts, community leaders and postsecondary institutions throughout the state to find youth and parents who reflected a variety of journeys to get their postsecondary education.

Minnesotans featured in the videos are either students attending college or parents of students who are currently enrolled. They talk about the barriers they overcame to reach their current path, including lack of role models, teenage pregnancy, dropping out of high school, conflicting expectations or immigrant status. Some of the videos are available in Hmong, Somali or Spanish.

High schools, guidance counselors, postsecondary institutions and any other interested parties are encouraged to use the videos on their websites, in a class or presentation, or to share with those considering college.

These videos are available on the Minnesota Department of Education YouTube page. Educational institutions may request a DVD by e-mailing

Additional resources for students and families considering postsecondary education will soon be available on the department’s Ready, Set, Go webpage at readysetgomn. com.


The “Shaping Your Future: Why Minnesota Families Choose College” video series includes:

Twenty-four interviews:

● 15 students.

● Five parent and student stories.

● Four foreign language parent stories (Hmong, Somali and Spanish).

Five themed montages:

● Students giving advice about getting help related to schooling.

● Students speaking about the things they wish they would have known about college when they were in high school.

● Students speaking about why they decided to attend college and what they would share with others about choosing to further their education.

● Parents talking about why they feel it is important for their children to go to college and how they made it possible.

● Parents speaking on how they became involved in their children’s education, with tips for how other parents can get involved.