Future Planning

Minnesota Career Information Systems

What will you do in THE REAL WORLD??????

MN Career Information System presents . . .MCIS!

User name:  

Go online to find current info about work, schooling, and financial aid—all written especially for Minnesota students and adults.  Some favorite places to explore:

  • COLLEGE COMPARISON:  Compare schools side-by-side in all areas from programs offered to tuition.

  • UNDERGRADUATE SCHOOL SORT:  Find out which schools in certain states, with certain programs or sports, requiring certain tuitions, etc. are available.

  • OCCUPATIONS SORT & COMPARISON:  Look at any careers you think sound cool, and read an overview (salary, a typical day, educational requirements) or compare two careers to see which one you prefer.

  • INTEREST PROFILE:  Take a survey about things you enjoy doing & categories of careers will be aligned for you.

  • MANY more…


Take advantage of this free career tool!
 If you forgot your MCIS passwords from Careers – this is the formula we used in class
1. Go to 
2. Username is lastnamefirstnamemiddle initial – JohnsonSueK; your is _______________________________.
3. Password is graduationyearusername – 04JohnsonSueK; your is _______________________________.
If you need to start over
Enter as username: osakishs password: streaks
5. On the right near the top click Create "My MCIS"
6. New Users – click again Create "My MCIS"
7. Follow the directions in #2 and #3 to create your own MCIS portifolio 

GPS Life Plan The GPS LifePlan helps students set goals and design plans that will lead them to the success they desire. This program has the flexibility to be used by students of all ages and at all stages. Explore the web site to learn more about the 5 Plans (Career, Education, Finance, Leadership and Personal) and discover how they might help you.

Four Reasons to Attend College

  1. Earn almost twice as much as those with just a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  2. Find it easier to retain or seek jobs than less educated workers. One estimate says that by the year 2028, there will be 19 million more jobs for educated workers than there are people to fill them.

  3. Establish valuable networking contracts through professional and social organizations.

  4. Gain specialized training in their field of choice.

Post High School Options

There are many post high school options for after high school.  The options include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A four - year college (public or private)

  • A community college (public or private)

  • A technical college (public or private)

  • A specialty school

  • The military (regular enlistment, ROTC, or a service academy)

  • Employment


Four Year Colleges are located in every state and are either public (which means they are partly supported by taxes and are therefore generally less expensive than private colleges) or private (which are not supported by taxes).  Both public and private colleges offer a wide variety of programs and vary in size from very small to very large.  There are more than 3,000 four-year colleges in the United States to choose from.  Examples of four-year colleges in Minnesota are:

  • The University of Minnesota (campuses at the Twin Cities, Morris, Crookston, Duluth)

  • State University System (Mankato, St. Cloud, Bemidji, Winona, Southwest, Moorhead)

  • rivate College (Augsburg, Bethany Lutheran, Bethel, Carleton, Concordia-Moorhead, Concordia-St. Paul, Crown, Gustavus, Hamline, Macalester, Martin Luther, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Northwestern, St. Benedicts, St. Catherine’s, St. John’s, St. Mary’s, St. Olaf, St. Scholastica, University of St. Thomas)


Community Colleges can also be either public or private and are located throughout the United States.  The most common two-year college is the public community college.  Two-year colleges offer both two-year degrees and the opportunity to transfer credits to a four-year.  The community college is usually the least expensive and most convenient option for students wanting to pursue a college education. Generally, the only admission requirement for acceptance into a community college is a high school diploma or a GED.  Students who desire this option, yet who want to earn a degree, can complete their last two years toward a degree at a four-year college by transferring their community college credits to a four-year school that agrees to accept them. 

Technical Colleges and specialty schools are somewhat different from two and four-year colleges in that they offer training for a specific occupation and typically do not require general coursework such as English, social studies, humanities, etc. Programs can vary somewhat by school.  Lengths of programs vary but most can be completed in two years.  The student is then ready to enter the job market.  Technical colleges or specialty schools can be either public or private.  Examples of technical colleges and specialty schools in Minnesota are:

  • Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie (public)

  • North Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park (public)

  • Brown Institute in Minneapolis (private)

  • Aveda Institute in Minneapolis (private)

 The Military offers a variety of training opportunities and requires a service commitment in return.  In addition to regular enlistment, students who want to pursue a college degree before they complete their service commitment can apply for a ROTC program or a service academy.  ROTC scholarships allow students to complete their education at a civilian college at the same time they are training to become a commissioned officer in a branch of the armed services.  Many college campuses offer ROTC programs.  Names and phone numbers of military contacts can be obtained in the Counselor’s Office.  For information on all branches of the military go to www.todaysmilitary.com/service-branches.  The service academies, which require a fairly extensive application process, include the following: 

  • US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80840; 1-800-443-9266

  • US Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut 06320;1-800-883-USCG

  • US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY 11024; 1-800-732-6267

  • US Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996; 1-914-938-4041

  • US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland 21402; 1-800-638-9156


Employment immediately after high school is an option often chosen by students who know that they want to be involved in an occupation which requires no additional training beyond high school or for students who may want to delay formalized post high school training for a while.  Sometimes companies have their own training programs.  Students wishing to pursue the employment option should talk to their counselor about resources.   

How to make the most of your college visit:

  • Prepare for your visit by learning as much as you can about the college.  Read their catalog; visit their web site, etc…

  • Take a tour, noting how the students look, the cleanliness of the campus, the atmosphere, the size, etc.

  • Many colleges now offer group information sessions for parents and students.  Attend one of these sessions if possible.

  • Talk to someone in the department your son or daughter is considering as a major (e.g.., business, education).  Be sure to check out the labs, computers, and other facilities for that major.  Also ask what kinds of jobs their graduates get, the average starting salary, etc.

  • If your son or daughter is a particularly outstanding student, check to see if the university has an Honors Program.  Honors programs offer a variety of unique opportunities for students who qualify.  These may include priority scheduling, access to low enrollment honors courses, and/or honors housing.

  • Visit a dorm, ask to see a room, and if possible, eat in one of the student cafeterias.  You may want to also check out the freshman dorm options so you will know which dorm to request if your son or daughter decides to attend that college.  Some schools also offer the option of an overnight visit in the dorms to get a better taste of dorm/college life there.

  • Inquire about any special program, activity, or sport in which your son or daughter may be interested (e.g., band, co-op, L.D. tutoring, intramural sports, clubs, etc.)

  • Visit the student union and talk to students.  Ask them what they think of the school, what they like and dislike about it, what they do on weekends, diversity, etc.  Students are generally friendly, honest, and happy to give you their opinions.

  • Being accepted, or if there are aspects of your son or daughter's academic record that you would like to explain (e.g., low grades due to illness), make an appointment with an admissions counselor.  Take an unofficial transcript with you.

  • If you are interested in financial assistance, ask if you can make an appointment with a counselor in the financial aid and/or scholarship office.  If you would like information on scholarship possibilities, take an unofficial transcript with you. (Unofficial transcripts can be requested in the Counseling Office if you do not have a copy).

  • Three concerns that many parents seem to have, relate to 1) the safety of the campus, 2) the practice of having T.A.s (teaching assistants) teach classes and/or labs in the place of professors, and 3) the ability of students to schedule the classes they need in order to graduate in four years.  An admissions representative or tour guide should be able to address these issues, as well as answer any other questions or concerns you may have.

  • In order to find out how your son/daughter compares academically with the students that attend that college, ask what the average GPA and test scores are for incoming freshman.

  • Ask what percentage of their students return after their first year and what percentage of their freshman graduate from their college.

  • Pick up a campus newspaper.

College Representatives

Representatives from many colleges schedule visits to our school during the school year during lunch. Interested students are encouraged to visit with the representatives during lunch.

Visiting with a college representative is a good way to get information about a college.   Representatives can answer many questions a student might have.  Many students visit with several representatives to “get a feel for” different colleges. Some college representatives will schedule their second visit during the spring to talk with juniors and seniors that still may have questions.