Research Discussion Bring to light regional challenges in meeting our goal of increasing direct-to-college enrollment rates. Review initial approaches to meeting this goal Describe some initial successes Discuss new research and approaches Present some preliminary results from this research (Part I)
Research Questions What are graduating seniors’ high school experiences, plans and preparation for life after high school? What share of high school graduates enroll in postsecondary education, become employed, or do both in the fall after graduation? What share of graduates are enrolled and/or employed over time? Which factors are significantly associated with positive postsecondary education and employment outcomes? How do outcomes change over time for cohorts of graduates and selected populations groups? Reports can be found at: www.centexstudentfutures.org
Senior Surveys Family background/ influences High school experiences Preparation for life after high school Postsecondary Education Records National Student Clearinghouse Texas Education Research Center records Employment Records Texas Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records Historical School Records Student demographics Courses taken Test performance Data Sources
Regional Challenges A number of challenges face the region as it works to improve postsecondary enrollment rates. These include the following: Population growth Demographic changes Reduced student employment in high school District diversity Aspiration Gap
Regional Growth of High School Graduates
Demographic Changes Rise in the Share of Low-Income Graduates
Reduced Employment While in High School Graduating Cohort
Employment After High School Graduation
Percent of Graduates Enrolled in Fall, by College Type and District (Four Year Averages, N=50,623)
Percent of Graduates Enrolled in Fall, by College Location and District (Four Year Averages, N=50,623)
College Enrollment Aspiration Gap Aspiration Gap Want to go to college but face barriers, some of them financial Subset of these students might be considered “low-hanging fruit” A little help might go a long way to increasing regional DTC rates.
Initial Strategies The region’s initial efforts to improve direct-to- college enrollment rates focused on the following: Performance management through Senior Surveys and District Education Progress Reports. Improving regional college academic readiness by emphasizing the importance of rigorous academic course taking. Increasing access to financial aid through Financial Aid Saturdays.
Participation in College Preparation Activities, 2006 through 2011 18% Points 24% Points
College Enrollment Aspiration Gap
Regional, State, and National Postsecondary Enrollment by High School Graduation Cohort
College Enrollment Rates By Income Status
Regional Response to Flat Direct to College Enrollment Rates Develop clearer research message (The Top 5 Things…) Region-wide efforts up to this point primarily focused on the senior year, but they don’t appear to have moved the aggregate needle. Examine the effect of coursework and activities during the 11 th and 12 th grade years, and Work to reduce college enrollment barriers during the summer after high school graduation.
Factors Associated with Postsecondary Enrollment Within the ClassroomOutside of the Classroom Long-term Short-term Within the ClassroomOutside of the Classroom Long-term Academic sufficiency Patterns of successful academic behavior -Meeting 8th grade math standard* Academic excellence -Taking AP/IB courses* -Taking advanced math courses* Short-term College application within-subject aidCollege preparation activities -Completing college essays in English-Completing a FAFSA* -Taking a college test prep course* *Factors Associated with Education and Work After High School for the Classes of 2008 and 2009 (Cumpton et.al., 2012)
Convenient: Does not demand additional classroom time and short-term means we could see results quickly. Important: Literature in this field and common sense indicate they are important. Focused: These activities are almost exclusively associated with the transition to college. Manageable: There are so many things you CAN do, and this limits the number examined. Collaborative Potential: Require pooling resources across the broader community. Reasons to Examine Short-Term Strategies Outside the Classroom
Regional Participation Rates Marginal Adjusted Predicted Effect: If you kept all other variables at there actual values, what change would you expect to see in postsecondary enrollment?
Marginal Predicted Effect on Postsecondary Enrollment for Individual Variables
Predicted Cumulative Effects on College Enrollment
Class of 2010 Class of 2010 research expanded the predicted effect research by including additional types of activities and coursework students engage in during the 11 th and 12 th grade years including: Taking advanced math and an Advanced Placement course (improves predicted DTC rates by 5% points), Meeting with their counselor about scholarships (2% points) Completing the FAFSA, attending a college fair, taking an SAT/ACT prep course, and visiting a college (4% points), Improve high school GPA from the 10 th grade to graduation (4% points). Do all four of the above (improves predicted DTC rates by 12% points)
General Findings SFP research over the last several years has identified the importance of the following: Focusing on financial aid supports Effectively utilizing counseling staff Encouraging students to take and succeed in rigorous courses Encouraging students to take an SAT/ACT preparation course Helping students see college before they go to college in the form of college fairs and college visits In combination, these work together to improve predicted enrollment rates.
Effective Targeting Effective Targeting Financial Aid Information With ever increasing shares of low-income students, there is an opportunity for increased financial aid for the region. Providing targeted financial aid information to students who need it the most is needed to capitalize on this increased regional capacity for financial aid. However, there are currently no region-wide and consistent means of measuring financial aid knowledge students have while in high school. Many districts already have programs in place to provide college and financial aid information to students throughout their high school years.
11 th and 12 th Grade Activities and Coursework, Class of 2010 Other Examples of Effective Targeting Opportunities Only 51% of students who took a Career and Technology Education (CATE) course completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), compared with 59% of students who took Algebra 2 and 67% of students who took an AP course. Hispanic, low-income or first generation students and students with a GPA between 70-80% at the end of their 10th grade year not only participate less frequently in key courses and activities known to be related to enrolling in college, those who do participate in these courses and activities are less likely to engage in multiples of them.
Current and Future Work Plans for current and future work include the following efforts: Providing region-wide information on college persistence as well as college access, Piloting a Junior Year survey to find out critical information about students and their post-high school plans and then feed this information back to counselors to target students for support earlier and more effectively, and Reducing barriers to college enrollment that occur in the summer following high school graduation by providing counselor support over the summer.
For More Information Greg Cumpton Ray Marshall Center Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs The University of Texas at Austin firstname.lastname@example.org Heath Prince, Associate Director Ray Marshall Center Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs The University of Texas at Austin email@example.com www.centexstudentfutures.org www.raymarshallcenter.org