HOW TO TRANSITION FROM GRADUATION-FOCUSED EWS TO FOCUS ON POSTSECONDARY SUCCESS

Transition from a graduation-focused EWS to a focus on postsecondary success means taking a longer view of the mission of preK-12 schooling, so that the goal is not simply for students to acquire a high school diploma, but rather to complete high school well prepared to succeed in viable postsecondary education or career plans that will lead to adult success.

In today’s world, far fewer careers that offer a living wage are accessible to those whose only formal qualification is a high school diploma. The disparity in earnings between college degree holders and those without a degree continues to grow; technical careers as well increasingly require formal training and certification beyond high school. In addition, career and education planning has become much more complex than it was a generation ago; for many students, schools are the primary source of reliable information about, and exposure to, the vast array of opportunities that exist.

(Click the above image for a PDF version of the resources on this page)

HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

  • Transition from a graduation-focused EWS to one directly focused on postsecondary success will require several important shifts.
    • Within the traditional ABC categories of Attendance, Behavior, and Course performance, adjust on-track thresholds to those identified as predictive of college or career-oriented success rather than simply high school graduation (e.g., attendance at or above 97% rather than 90%)
    • Consider and evaluate possible additional indicators that could provide measurable data on behaviors associated with adult success, such as students’ ability and inclination to manage their own learning
    • Set institutional (school, district, or state) goals around successful postsecondary transition, including college applications and attendance
    • Establish partnerships and data-sharing agreements with local universities, colleges, and the business sector to evaluate postsecondary outcomes and identify possible strategies to improve them
    • At state and district level, create a position or department specifically focused on tracking and supporting students’ postsecondary success

EXEMPLARS IN PRACTICE

Building a College Readiness Indicator System: Progress in the Dallas Independent School District
Everyone Graduates Center, Johns Hopkins University
October 2015
Report on strengths and challenges experienced in the DISD college readiness initiative from 2012-25.

RESOURCES

  • College Readiness Indicator System (CRIS)
    John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities; Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University; and UChicago Consortium on Chicago School Research
    May 2014
    This site provides links to a series of seven PDF brochures, including: A New Framework for Promoting College Readiness; Menu of College Readiness Indicators and Supports; Selecting Effective Indicators; and District Self-Assessment Tool. Promotes indicators (including academic preparation, academic tenacity, and college knowledge) at individual, school, and system levels. Helpful grids, cycle of inquiry guidance, exemplars, and technical information. Extremely useful at every level.
  • Measurement Practice Guide
    College and Career Readiness and Success Center at AIR
    November 2014
    Student, teacher, and policy/program-level indicators. Big picture guidance, especially for state-level implementation.
  • Developing Systems to Monitor College Applications
    University of Chicago Network for College Success
    2018
    Series of training videos in setting up data systems to support and track college applications and identify institutions that offer students the best chances of admission, support, and degree attainment, based on their academic profile. Focus on Tier 2 intervention timeline; technical database demos.
  • Promoting College and Career Readiness Through Accountability Under ESSA
    AIR
    February 2017
    Webinar/slide show aimed at state educational agencies; focus on development of college- and career-ready indicators. More career focus than most other resources. Exemplars from Delaware and (especially) California processes.
  • District Self-Assessment Tool
    Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University
    May 2014
    Guidance and workspace for districts to assess current system capacity and needs in college readiness support; one of the PDFs in the CRIS series previously mentioned. Exemplars in practice prominently featured. Very helpful.