Roundup: Strategies for Increasing College-going and Success

Students graduating from high school.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Education

Dual Enrollment Now in 47 States

A strategy for increasing high school graduation and college-going is dual enrollment, where high school students are allowed to simultaneously enroll in college classes. The Education Commission of the States (ECS) reported recently that 47 States have laws covering dual enrollment. A list of all States’ dual enrollment policies can be found on the ECS site.

Mapping the Transition to College

For many students and families, the pathway from high school to college can be challenging to navigate. To make it easier, the Citi Foundation created the Postsecondary Success Collaborative to help communities identify and provide the tools students need to succeed in college. In 2008, the collaborative partnered with local partners in three cities and five years’ later, the collaborative is sharing what it learned.

Known as “asset mapping,” the strategy aims to help  schools, postsecondary institutions and community groups work together to:

  • Align what high schools are teaching with what colleges expect from students
  • Engage parents, families, civic groups, government and businesses
  • Tailor supports to the needs of the young people in the community
  • Monitor and promote student progress by creating data-sharing systems that incorporate information from schools, colleges, and community-based organizations.
  • Begin early and target all students.

To assist in this process, the collaborative created the Postsecondary Success Asset Map to identify strengths and weaknesses in efforts to ready students for college.

Some examples:

  • In Philadelphia, teachers at Roxborough High School, working with local college educators, discovered that their writing assignments  were not preparing students for the demands of college writing. High school and college educators worked together to align their instruction and, according to the school’s principal, test scores have risen.
  • Educators at Miami Beach High School, in collaboration with local colleges, learned that graduates were struggling in mathematics. High school educators worked with college educators to design a Mathematics for College Readiness class to boost students’ skills. Educators at the school are seeing positive results.
  • In San Francisco, community based organizations and three high schools shared data to pinpoint populations of students that needed more attention.