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Education from pre-school to post-college degree

In 2006, representatives of K-12 schools, the colleges and vocational education came up with plans to improve how North Dakota students learn.

And a representative of the North Dakota LEAD Center – which helps develop leaders in the educational field -- says a lot has been accomplished.

"Issues related to graduation requirements, issues related to feedback to students on their progress, issues in terms of standards," said LEAD Center director Jim Stenehjem. "A lot has happened since then."

Stenehjem is one of the leaders of the discussions involving the governing boards for K-12, the University System, and vocational education.

"All of us are talking about the process of moving North Dakotans through an educational syatem that has a continuum," said Interim University System Chancellor Dr. Larry Skogen. "It's not a break -- it's a continuum into the workplace. And we always talk about life-long learning after that."

Skogen says the group will also be looking beyond the issue of remedial education – that is, students who graduate who need to take some remedial courses in order to get up to speed with college entrance requirements.

"We're now focusing on how to do college preparedness at the 12th grade, instead of waiting for the students to show up on a college campus someplace," said Skogen. "I would rather be talking about it in the 12th grade."

Skogen says this will also involve discussions with policy makers – leading up to the 2015 Legislature.

The group met in Bismarck.

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