by Rachel Vilsak ~

How many students at public Minnesota high schools are prepared for postsecondary education? Do these students attend college? If so, do they complete a certificate or degree?

Data to answer questions such as these will play a key role in informing Minnesotans about how students are doing, and direct efforts to open up higher education opportunities for everyone.

The good news is, Minnesota has developed a data system to answer these questions.

The Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System, or SLEDS, brings together student data from pre-kindergarten through completion of higher education and into the workforce. By bridging existing data with other new data, a range of questions can be answered to gauge the effectiveness of current programs and design improvement strategies to help students.

SLEDS data helps users:

  • identify the best pathways for individuals to achieve successful outcomes in education and work;
  • inform decisions to support and improve education and workforce policy and practice, and
  • assist in creating a more seamless education and workforce system for all Minnesotans.

Consumers can view data about student progress and pathways from their high school education into their college education in a mobile friendly, easy to use format. Through the SLEDS Mobile Analytics site (, users can create customized displays by selecting specific graduation years, high schools and districts.

Feedback on the mobile analytics site is welcome; please share your reaction or ideas for improvement with

SLEDS is a joint effort from Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education (OHE), the Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).


Rachel Vilsak is the Agency Performance Manager for DEED. She will give more information about SLEDS in a concurrent session during the CTE Works! Shaping the Future Summit on November 13, 2014.

One thought on “Better Data on High-School-to-College-Transitions with SLEDS

  1. It’s great to hear more attention is being given to the transition between high school education and potential further education. I would be interested to see the results and take a look at options for students who are potentially not prepared for postsecondary education. Hopefully this data will be used to create positive change in high schools and provide better preparation for students!


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