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College Readiness Academy

College Readiness Academy students hold up novels

? Sign Up for College Readiness Academy (CRA)

Our College Readiness Academy (CRA) is a free program that provides college preparation to New Americans and others who are not yet ready for college and would like additional support navigating higher education.

This program practices the same skills as expensive prep classes run by colleges that cost $1,300 to $3,000. Most students show great improvement on the Accuplacer test and need fewer reading and writing classes. Some students will even be ready to begin college-level (general education) classes. Our college partners are Saint Paul College, Hennepin Technical College and Metropolitan State University. Our adult education partner is Hubbs Center.

Upon successful completion of the program, you may be eligible for university-level credit at Metropolitan State University. Learn more about our partnership here.

We have students of many different ages and backgrounds. Some are nursing assistants who want to go to college to advance their medical careers. Some are stay-at-home parents who want higher education. Others were nurses, accountants, lawyers, engineers or teachers in their home countries and want to get retrained in the U.S. Talk to us about your goals!

Fall 2022 Class Schedule

September 6 – December 16

  • Class A: Tue, Wed, and Thurs from 10am to 1pm (HyFlex- In-person & Online)
  • Class B: Wed and Thurs from 5pm to 8pm (Completely Online-Zoom)

All classes will include additional online work to be done outside of class. Students will need a reliable internet connection and a laptop, tablet or smartphone.


Students interested in CRA should fill out the form below to receive further instructions. Intake days will take place over Zoom; students will meet the instructor, learn more about the class and complete our entrance test. 

Intake Day Schedule (Fall 2022)

    • Tuesday, August 9: 10-12pm
    • Thursday, August 11: 5-7pm
    • Tuesday, August 16: 2-4pm
    • Thursday, August 18: 10-12pm
    • Tuesday, August 30: 5-7pm
    • Thursday, September 1: 2-4pm
After submitting this form, a staff member will follow up with you in 2-3 business days. Thank you for your interest in CRA!

College Readiness Academy students

College Readiness Academy Results

  • The average GPA of a CRA student in college is 3.6
  • College navigators have helped CRA students earn over $120,000 in scholarships
  • By choosing CRA instead of ESL or remedial classes at a college, CRA students have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition since 2015
  • 66 CRA students have graduated with a certificate, diploma, Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree since 2015
    • 21 of those students are currently pursuing their second (or third) credential
  • 290 CRA students have enrolled in college since 2015
  • Today, there are 192 CRA students studying in college. 

Learn more in MinneTESOL Journal: College Readiness Academy: Increasing equity by removing barriers to higher education

College Readiness Academy Goals

With the instructor, students will build:

  • Reading skills — such as critical analysis and vocabulary-building
  • Writing skills — such as essay-writing and process-writing
  • Study skills — such as scanning, note-taking, and test-taking
  • Computer skills — such as word processing and research

With college navigators, students will learn:

  • How the college system works
  • How to plan their classes
  • How to apply for financial aid
  • How to balance school, work, and home life

For more information, contact Norzin Waleag at nwaleag@iimn.org or 651-377-8659, or Bee Moua at bmoua@iimn.org or (651) 377-8658 .

College Readiness Academy students

 “For me the problem with college is not the concepts. It’s how to better understand what I had to do. Without CRA I think it would have taken me a long, long time.”

-Gnande, CRA graduate

 “I learned in classes to express myself and to use my critical thinking skills to solve problems. The navigator is always available to answer questions and helps to put in place the college process.”

-Christelle, CRA graduate

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