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Improving College Readiness: Collaborating With K-12 To Ensure That Students Are Prepared


Presenter Background. Over 26 years in Higher Education. 10 Years at University. 15 Year at South Texas College (STC) 2 Years at Lone Star College System (LSCS) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Improving College Readiness: Collaborating With K-12 To Ensure That Students Are Prepared

Improving College Readiness Collaborating With
K-12 To Ensure That Students Are Prepared
  • Luzelma G. Canales
  • Executive Director, RGV FOCUS (Collective Impact
  • Communities Foundation of Texas/Educate Texas

Presenter Background
  • Over 26 years in Higher Education
  • 10 Years at University
  • 15 Year at South Texas College (STC)
  • 2 Years at Lone Star College System (LSCS)
  • STC Achieving the Dream Lead since 2004
  • STC Completion by Design Lead
  • Talent Dividend Liaison for South Texas Region
  • Achieving the Dream Data Coach Since 2009
  • Student Success by the Numbers Consultant Since
  • RGV FOCUS Since August 2013

  • Examine the emerging trends and research on
    college readiness
  • Explore a process for establishing institutional
    commitment to increasing college readiness
    through meaningful collaborations
  • Discuss strategies for getting more students
    ready for college level work before they exit
    high school
  • Share strategies for building a culture of
    engagement and collaboration
  • Review evidence based examples of successful

Changing Demographics
42.97 versus 2.7
Population Growth
College Enrollment Growth
If we keep going at this rate, we will never
close the achievement gap!
Latinos in Higher Education Many Enroll, Too Few
  • 10 of all Latino high school graduates enroll in
  • Substantial enrollment gap between Latinos and
    all other groups among 18 to 24 year olds
  • 35 of Latinos compared to 46 of whites
  • Latinos more likely to enroll in community
  • 40 of Latinos
  • 25 of whites and African American
  • 1.9 of Latino high school graduates purse
    post-baccalaureate studies

(Canales, 2012)
Source Pew Hispanic Center Report, Richard Fry,
College Graduates by Age 24
  • 75 From High Income Families
  • 9 From Low Income Families

Source Postsecondary Educational Opportunity
(Canales, 2012)
Finding 1 Nontraditional students are the new
  • 75 of students are college commuters, often
    juggling families, jobs, and school.
  • 25 of students attend full-time at residential

Source Complete College America
And if they attend part-time, the federal
government doesnt even track their success as
if they are invisible.
Source Complete College America
Finding 2 Too few students graduate. For
part-timers, results are tragic even when they
have twice as much time.
Full-time Part-time
1 Year Certificate within 2 Years 27.8 12.2
2 Year Associate within 4 Years 18.8 7.8
4 Year Bachelors within 6 Years 60.6 24.3.
Source Complete College America
Finding 3 Graduation odds are especially low for
students who are African American, Hispanic,
older, or poor.
Source Complete College America
Finding 4 Students are wasting time on excess
Source Complete College America
and taking too much time to earn a degree.
Source Complete College America
Finding 5 Remediationtoo many students need it,
and too few succeed when they get it.
Source Complete College America
Remedial students are much less likely to
Source Complete College America
Trying to Understand through Qualitative Research
Encore Research Study
  • Study in Hidalgo County, Texas
  • Conducted by Dr. Victor Saenz, UT-Austin
  • 23 Focus Groups
  • Parents
  • Students
  • Educators (K-16)
  • Community/Business Leaders
  • Interviews with key Education and Community
  • Community Surveys
  • Parents
  • Students
  • Teachers

Key Thematic Findings
  • Theme I We want to go to college! Our kids
    should go to college!
  • Theme II Expecting to go to college is not
    enough. We need to be college ready.
  • Theme III Disengagement in schools and
    communities. Challenges to college readiness

Key Thematic Findings (Cont.)
  • Theme IV Should I stay, should I go, or leave
    and then come back? Multiple notions of academic
    success in the region.
  • Theme V Everyone is responsible for promoting
    the goal of college readiness.
  • Theme VI Building momentum for a college
    readiness movement.

Community Voices
  • Communication/Information
  • Engage parents/families early in the process
  • Communicate process of enrolling in college and
  • Partnerships
  • Create more partnerships with businesses
  • Join efforts with K-12 and existing organizations
  • Access to Programs
  • Create programs like Gear-up for all students
  • Offer dual enrollment to all students
  • Schedule college tours for all students
    (elementary, middle, high school)

Where are we losing students?
Educational Pipeline Gaps
Critical Gap
Critical Gap
Critical Gap
Critical Gap
(First Year Retention 2-Year Completion)
(High School to College)
(Transfer from 2-year to 4-year 4-year
(7th10th Grade Dropout)
Elementary PK-5
High 9-12
Lower Division
Upper Division
Middle 6-8
Birth to PK
Completion Point
Completion Point
Completion Point
(Adapted from THECB, 2007)
(Canales, 2012)
Of Every 100 Kindergartners
Graduates White African American Latino/ Hispanic
High School 94 89 62
Some College 66 51 31
At Least Bachelors Degree 34 18 10
Source US Department of Commerce
(Canales, 2012)
What are students telling us?
  • Study Conducted by Public Agenda for the Texas
    Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Funded by The Lumina Foundations
  • Interviews with noncompleters and current
    students in Texas Colleges and Universities
  • Houston, El Paso, San Antonio, McAllen, and

  • Finding 1 Postsecondary attainment is highly
    valued by all, though some question whether or
    not it is worth the effort
  • Finding 2 Inadequate academic preparation and
    poor advising in high school set the stage for

  • Finding 3 For those without strong support
    systems, solid preparation, and a clear sense of
    purpose, the transition to college can quickly
    lead to a desire to give up
  • Finding 4 Faculty at two-year institutions get
    better marks than faculty at four-year
    institutions or advisers at any type of

Finding 2 Inadequate academic preparation and
poor advising in high school set the stage for
I wasnt counseled by anyone or anything like
that. I dont even recall ever talking to a
counselor or anything about college.
Female, noncompleter, Houston
I feel like I wasnt prepared when I went into
college with math and stuff. I feel like I didnt
know the stuff that I shouldve known..
Unfortunately, down here they prep you more for
passing your tests more than actually learning.
Female, noncompleter, McAllen
They make the two hardest subjects the ones you
opt out on senior year. Those are the ones you
need to be refreshed on when you go in to
Female, noncompleter, San Antonio
Historically Working on Solutions in Isolation!
Working in Isolation has not Produced Results!
Asset Models Vs Deficit Models
Start with Regional Goals
  • Increased College-Going Rates
  • Increased College Career Readiness
  • Increased Degree Credential Attainment

(Canales, 2012)
Developing a Common Understanding Summit on
College Readiness
  • 2010 Success by Design
  • 2011 The Power of One
  • 2012 Completion by Design
  • 2013 Navigating the Pathway from High School to
    College Completion and a Successful Career
  • 2006 - Closing the Gaps on College Readiness
  • 2007 Closing the Gap on College and Career
  • 2008 The Journey to College Success
  • 2009 Accelerating Student Success

Summer Leadership Institute
Introduction/History of the College 3 hrs Dual Enrollment Programs 3 hrs
Tours of the College Campus Facilities 8 hrs Early College High School 2 hrs
Academic Advising Certification (NACADA) 8 hrs Baccalaureate Programs, Articulation, Student Panel 4 hrs
Student Activities, Placement, Wellness 4 hrs Presidents Cabinet 2 hrs
Academic Personal Counseling, Career Assessment, Transfer 4 hrs New Student Orientation, Information Center, KIOSKs 3 hrs
Special Programs, ADA, Support Services 4 hrs Learning Centers, SI, Others 4 hrs
Student Assessment Center 4 hrs Emotional Intelligence 4 hrs
College readiness?
Student Success?
(Canales, 2012)
  • Students who can succeedwithout remediationin
    credit bearing general education courses or a
    two-year certificate program and who are prepared
    for the cognitive challenges they face in general
    education requirements and subsequent courses

(Canales, 2012)
Success by DesignNot by Chance
Alma Garcia, Educate Texas
(Canales, 2012)
Starting with a Plan to Serve all Students
HS Students
  • Dropout Recovery
  • Gateway to College
  • Dual Enrollment Academies
  • Early College High Schools
  • Dual Enrollment Programs

(Canales, 2012)
Adapted from Educate Texas(2011)
Do your colleges work with school districts to
provide dual enrollment opportunities to high
school students?
In our region, dual credit programs and
strategies continue to contribute to the
increased number of students graduating from high
school college ready.
What are some positive outcomes of dual credit?
  • Studies show that dual credit increases the
    likelihood that a student will complete high
    school, and enroll in and persist in college.
  • Decreases cost of tuition and fees for students
    by accelerating time to degree.
  • New graduates enter the workforce sooner and
    begin to earn wages.

(THECB, 2008 )
What is dual credit?
  • The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
    defines dual credit as a process by which a high
    school junior or senior enrolls in a college
    course and receives simultaneous academic credit
    for the course from both the college and the high

  • While dual credit courses are often taught on the
    secondary school campus to high school students
    only, a high school student can also take a
    course on the college campus and receive both
    high school and college credit.

  • Dual credit courses include both academic courses
    as well as career technical courses.

Dual Enrollment Programs
  • Traditional Dual Enrollment
  • Career Technical Education Dual Enrollment
  • Early College High Schools
  • STEM Dual Enrollment Academies
  • Drop-out Recovery
  • Gateway to College

(Canales, 2012)
Leveraging Dual Enrollment
  • Relationships are Critical
  • Formal Memorandum of Understanding
  • College Going College Completion Culture
  • High Expectations for all Students
  • Strong Support Systems
  • Seamless Transitions

Dual Credit in Texas
Year (Fall) Enrollment
2000 17,784
2001 22,812
2002 28,454
2003 31,757
2004 38,082
2005 42,167
2006 57,554
2007 64,910
2008 79,074
2009 91,303
2010 90,364
2011 94,550
2012 99,452
  • Fall 2000
  • White 72.5
  • African American 3.2
  • Hispanic 19.8
  • Asian/Other 4.5
  • Fall 2011
  • White 45.5
  • African American 6.0
  • Hispanic 39.0
  • Asian/Other 9.5

(Canales, 2012)
(THECB, 2012)
(THECB, 2008)
STEM Dual Enrollment Academies
  • Two-year dual enrollment programs
  • Dual Enrollment Engineering Academy (DEEA)
  • AS Engineering (74 credit hours)
  • Dual Enrollment Computer Science Academy (DECSA)
  • AS Computer Science (61 credit hours)
  • Dual Enrollment Medical Science Academy (DEMSA
  • AS Biology (61 credit hours)
  • Juniors and Seniors in High School
  • Graduate from College two weeks before high
    school graduation

Do your colleges have one or more early college
high schools?
Early College High Schools
  • A promising high school reform model targeting
    students for whom the transition into
    postsecondary education is problematic.

(Canales, 2012)
Early College High Schools
  • Prepares students and families for college
  • Opportunity to earn up to 60 college credits
    prior to high school graduation
  • Accelerates time to completion of high school
    diploma and first two years of college
  • Provides college-life experience while still in
    high school

(Canales, 2012)
Since 2002, the partner organizations of the
Early College High School Initiative have started
or redesigned 240 schools serving more than
75,000 students in 28 states and the District of
Early College High Schools in Texas
  • 65 partnerships with community colleges and
    four-year universities
  • Majority of ECHS campuses funded by state with
    initial support from Communities Foundation of
    Texas, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The
    Meadows Foundation, and Greater Texas Foundation

(Canales, 2012)
Early College High Schools in Texas
(Canales, 2012)
(Educate Texas , 2013)
Examples of Strong ECHS Partnerships
  • South Texas Region
  • Twenty ECHS
  • Over 8,000 students
  • Partnerships with twelve school districts
  • High schools on college campuses and at school

31 of Texas ECHS are located in South Texas
Dropout Recovery Programs and At-Risk High
School Students
  • 5th Year Seniors
  • TAKS Liable /or Missing Credits
  • Texas allows serving students through age 25
  • Students enroll in classes that are
    contextualized in the areas needed for high
    school credit recovery and/or the TAKS

PSJA ISD Back on Track Program
  • The College, Career, Technology Academy
  • Partnership between PSJA ISD and South Texas
  • Since CCTAs inception, PSJA has increased the
    number of annual graduates from 966 in 2006-2007
    to close to 1,800 graduates in 2009-2010, an
    increase of more than 85 percent.
  • Replicated in neighboring districts

Gateway to College
  • Created by Portland Community College in 2000 to
    serve high school dropouts
  • Funded by Bill Melinda Gates Foundation
  • 37 colleges in 21 states partnering with over 175
    school districts

Gateway to College in Texas
  • Dallas Metro Area Eastfield College
  • El Paso El Paso Community College
  • McAllen South Texas College
  • San Antonio Palo Alto College

Gateway to College at South Texas College
  • Partnership with McAllen Mission ISD
  • Serves Students Between the ages of 16-20
  • Behind in high school credits for age/grade
  • Have dropped out of high school
  • Students complete high school diploma and earn
    college credits

Planning for Success
  • Early Testing/Assessment for College Readiness
  • Curriculum Alignment Teams
  • Student Outcome Data Sharing
  • Understanding Student Populations
  • Developing a Common Language and High
    Expectations for all Students
  • Faculty and Staff Development

What other types of partnerships do your colleges
have with school districts?
Measurable Results
Texas College Readiness Report
2002-2003 2002-2003 2002-2003 2011-2012 2011-2012 2011-2012
Ethnicity HS Grads Enrolled All Areas HS Grads Enrolled All Areas
African American 31,801 Not Avail 30.9 38,213 45.0 54.1
Hispanic 80,777 Not Avail 42.5 131,106 44.5 63.4
White 116,816 Not Avail 68.7 105,767 49.5 81.8
Other 8,715 Not Avail Varies 17,550 Varies Varies
Total 238,109 Not Avail 57.1 292,636 47.3 70.7

Male 121,447 Not Avail 56.7 146,417 43.3 70.4
Female 116,662 Not Avail 57.5 146,219 51.2 71.0
Source THECB Dual Credit Reports, 2003 and 2012
Texas College Readiness Report
2002-2003 2002-2003 2002-2003 2011-2012 2011-2012 2011-2012
Ethnicity Math Writing Reading Math Writing Reading
African American 39.9 60.8 54.1 64.4 73.2 72.9
Hispanic 53.5 69.3 63.2 72.7 78.7 78.7
White 76.1 88.3 84.7 86.3 91.2 92.0
Other Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies Varies
Total 65.8 79.5 75.0 78.1 83.6 83.9

Male 64.4 82.3 74.5 79.0 81.1 82.7
Female 67.5 76.2 75.6 77.3 85.8 84.8
Source THECB Dual Credit Reports, 2003 and 2012
2011-2012 College Readiness Report
Ethnicity HS Grads Enrolled All Areas Math Writing Reading
Distinguished 39,338 67.7 93.1 94.4 96.1 96.4
Individual Ed Plan 7,658 12.9 8.9 19.4 22.9 24.0
Minimum 49,352 20.2 32.4 43.2 59.7 59.2
Recommended 196,288 51.3 69.2 77.7 83.3 83.6
Total 292,636 47.3 70.7 78.1 83.6 83.9
Source THECB Dual Credit Report, 2012
Curriculum Matters!
Increase in High School Diplomas
FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010
16,351 16,423 17,734 19,985 21,687
Source PEIMS Region 1 Source PEIMS Region 1 Source PEIMS Region 1 Source PEIMS Region 1 Source PEIMS Region 1
Increase in College Readiness of Students
Enrolling at Time of Entry
  • 9 Increase in Percent of HS Graduates Pursuing
    Texas Higher Education the Fall After High School

Percent Meeting Texas Success Initiative (TSI)
Higher Education Readiness Component English
Language Arts 27 increaseMathematics - 26
Source TEA Academic Excellence Indicator System
What is in the future?
Large-scale social change requires broad
cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector
remains focused on the isolated intervention of
individual organizations.
Collective Impact
  • Shifting from isolated impact to collective
    impact requires a systemic approach to social
    impact that focuses on the relationships between
    organizations and the progress toward shared
  • The Five Conditions of Collective Success
  • Common Agenda
  • Shared Measurement Systems
  • Mutually Reinforcing Activities
  • Continuous Communication
  • Backbone Support Organizations

Over 40 Organizations and 100 Individuals Are
Currently Working Together on this RGV Collective
Impact Effort
RGV Focus Communities united for educational
All RGV learners will achieve a degree or
credential that leads to a meaningful career We
will achieve this by strengthening each step of
the educational pathway better connecting our
education system and aligning community
resources to provide the supports learners need
to succeed throughout high school and
postsecondary in order to pursue a meaningful
career in the RGV and beyond.
Our Vision
All RGV students graduate high school college
All high school graduates transition to
postsecondary within a year
All postsecondary students can achieve a degree
or credential on time
All postsecondary graduates can be employed
within 6 months
Our Goals
The strategies we pursue are transformational
both for individual institutions and the RGV at
We collaborate across institutions and sectors,
and invest the resources to ensure this
collaboration will be sustained
We are evidence driven in our approach and use
shared data and metrics to drive constant
improvement across the region
Our work is community centered and depends on the
voices of many organizations and individuals
across the RGV
We are focused on students and their experiences,
strengths, challenges, and aspirations
Why This Work Will Succeed
All RGV learners will achieve a degree or
credential that leads to a meaningful career
Our Strategic Priorities
Pathway From High School To A Meaningful Career
High School
College supports
College readiness
  • Strengthen on-campus IHE supports through
    employment and internship opportunities,
    mentorship programs, academic aid, and peer
    support communities
  • Agree and commit to a common definition of
    college readiness that prepares students to
    succeed in postsecondary and in a meaningful
  • Expand dual credit, AP, CTE, Gold Seal approval,
    and other innovative programs to ensure that
    students meet rigor and readiness standards

Career connections
  • Support the stacking, combining, and leveraging
    of credentials with labor market value throughout
    a students educational progression
  • Work with employers to define workforce needs and
    skills, and strengthen and align academic
    pathways accordingly
  • Enhance career planning to help students
    understand their interests, employment
    opportunities, wages, and the courses they need
    to take to attain their career goals

Dropout prevention and recovery
  • Improve relevancy and strengthen dropout
    prevention within 9th grade, and provide students
    who have dropped out with multiple recovery
    pathways aligned to college and careers

Excellent teaching
  • Ensure teacher quality in the RGV by attracting
    the best talent, developing teachers more
    intentionally, and leveraging the master teachers
    who deliver the best results and the most

Luzelma G. Canales, Ph.D. Executive Director, RGV
(Canales, 2012)