Education

Report Finds Promise in Community-Wide Approach to College Completion

By Caralee J. Adams — January 31, 2014 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

It not only takes village, but an entire community working together to raise a college graduate. That’s the philosophy behind grants that went to seven cities to encourage collaboration between K-12 schools, community colleges, four-year universities, businesses, government, parents, and students to improve postsecondary success.

A report on progress made with the Bill & Melinda Gates Community Partnerships Learning in Partnership (CLIP) and Partners for Postsecondary Success (PPS) initiatives was released this week. It offers ideas for getting more students into college and supporting them to completion, based on the $20 million projects that began in 2009.

(The Gates Foundation supports coverage of the education industry and K-12 innovation in Education Week.)

The Philadelphia-based OMG Center for Collaborative Learning evaluated the work and summarized the lessons learned in the report, Building Community Partnerships in Support of Postsecondary Completion Agenda.

Communities worked together to build awareness, share data, develop new policies, and come up approaches that would be sustainable for motivating students in college. While no single model emerged, there are some strong examples in various cities, Sarah Singer Quast, a senior project manager with OMG, said in an interview.

For instance, in San Francisco and Riverside, Calf., educators and policymakers worked together on policy changes to help encourage students to continue their education. The high schools added “second-chance” courses for seniors who were not on track academically to be college-ready by graduation. Working with the community college, seniors who pass those courses can now skip the college-placement tests and are given priority enrollment. “Hopefully, it is something that will strengthen pathways into community college,” Quast said.

In Brownsville, Texas, the United Way convened community partners around a college-going agenda, said Quast. School district leaders began to analyze postsecondary data to see where improvements were needed. The report explains how the community developed a student-ambassador program where college students went back to their high schools and helped with a class to prepare students for college. It began as an optional class during lunch, but became so popular that it was integrated into an existing course so more students could be exposed to the information.

Quast said the report shows that educators need to think about higher-level policy changes and how that translates into practice. This initiative helped facilitate conversations between teachers and professors and others in the community about how to best help students and create seamless pathways to college and career, said Quast. Communities learned that having some quick, quality wins early on helped to propel their work and tapping into an array of stakeholders helped in developing community-wide solutions.

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Trauma-Informed Practices & the Construction of the Deep Reading Brain
Join Ryan Lee-James, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, director of the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy, with Renée Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD., Vital Village Community Engagement Network; Neena McConnico, Ph.D, LMHC, Child Witness to Violence Project; and Sondra
Content provided by Rollins Center

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Hundreds of Conn. Bus Drivers Threaten to Walk Off the Job Over Vaccine Mandate
More than 200 school bus drivers could walk off the job in response to a vaccination mandate that goes into effect Monday.
1 min read
Rows of school buses are parked at their terminal, in Zelienople, Pa. Reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic means putting children on school buses, and districts are working on plans to limit the risk.
Rows of school buses are parked at their terminal, in Zelienople, Pa. Reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic means putting children on school buses, and districts are working on plans to limit the risk. <br/>
Keith Srakocic/AP Photo
Education Briefly Stated: September 22, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)