Administrator’s Corner: Introducing Direct Admissions at Albert Lea High School

Published 8:00 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

Administrator’s Corner by Jeff Halverson

In the next month, our 12th-grade students at Albert Lea High School will have an exciting new opportunity. We are pleased to announce that Albert Lea High School has been selected to participate in the second year of the Office of Higher Education pilot program known as Direct Admissions. This program, coordinated by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, is a collaborative effort between the Minnesota Department of Education, select high schools, and participating colleges and universities. This program is funded by the state of Minnesota, and we are enthusiastic about the positive impact it will have on the college admissions experience for our ALHS 12th graders.

Jeff Halverson

The primary objective of the Direct Admissions program is to ensure that graduating seniors are well-informed about their multiple college options within Minnesota. The program encompasses 55 public and private two-year and four-year colleges and universities across the state.

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These institutions offer various educational pathways, including vocational training, associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees. With Direct Admissions, our aim is to alleviate the anxiety associated with accessing higher education. Through experience in the Direct Admissions process pre-identifying schools, students can rest assured that once they apply to the specific school(s), they have already met the admissions standards for the colleges specified in their Direct Admissions acceptance letters.

Eligibility for the program is determined by students’ progress toward graduation and their performance in core high school academic courses throughout their high school years. In the coming weeks, students will have the opportunity to choose from a list of schools based on their academic record and personal interests. These selections will then be sent to the Office of Higher Education for review. Subsequently, students will be notified of the schools who have offered them “direct admission.” While students will still need to complete the traditional application process with their chosen school(s), they will do so with the confidence of having been “pre-selected.” Additionally, students participating in the Direct Admissions process will not be required to pay application fees for any of the colleges they explore through this program.

Families of current 12th-grade students who are on-track to graduate can expect their students to receive a survey during their 12th-grade FLEX Advisory classes towards the end of quarter 1. Students can express their college admissions interests by completing this survey. Participation in the program is entirely voluntary, and there are no consequences for students who choose not to participate.

We are excited to implement the Direct Admissions program with our 12th-grade students, with the dual goal of facilitating the transition from high school to college and providing a platform for students to explore their diverse post-secondary education options in Minnesota.

Jeff Halverson is executive director of careers, technology and innovation at Albert Lea Area Schools.