Goal Three: High School, College and Career Success

Source: 2017 Blueprint Annual Report

Why We Care

The turn of the 21st century is more than a decade behind us, and economist predictions of an increasingly complex, global, high tech world seem mild when set against the realities of mismatched needs and skills experienced by American industry and workers in the last few years. These experiences underscore the importance of creating an educated and versatile workforce to maintain regional economic strength and global competitiveness. Here in Central Texas:

  • Conservative estimates show that each year’s cohort of dropouts costs the region more than $370 million in cost to society over the course of their lives.[i]
  • By 2018, 2 out of 3 American jobs will require at least some post-secondary education, yet just 29% of Central Texas high school graduates receive any postsecondary credential within 6 years, and just 12% of low income graduates.[ii]
  • While high school graduation rates have been steadily increasing, graduates enrolling in higher education within a year of graduating has dropped, and college completions are flat. (also footnote ii)
  • We know that students who complete advanced math in high school are 3 times as likely to get a postsecondary credential within 6 years, yet our low income students are 2 ½ times less likely to be on an advanced math pathway than our non-low income students.[iii]

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[i] E3 Alliance analysis of TEA drop out data based on NCES estimate of societal costs of drop outs

[ii] E3 Alliance analysis of data at the UT Austin Education Research Center

[iii] E3 Alliance Pathways of Promise analysis of data at the UT Austin Education Research Center

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Accomplishments
  • ACAN partners delivered professional development to 250 counselors and student success practitioners across Central Texas on key topics supporting student access and success.
  • E3 Alliance partnered with Austin ISD, Workforce Solutions Capital Area and ESC Region 13 to create and implement When I Grow Up career exploration curriculum for targeted occupations. Every elementary school counselor in Central Texas received this curriculum.
  • Since 2008, two dozen district, higher education, and industry partners have been working with E3 Alliance to galvanize STEM pathways. There are now 10,382 secondary students in the Engineering Pipeline, an increase of 700% since 2008 — growth that is unprecedented in the nation.
  • E3 Alliance’s ground-breaking longitudinal study on elementary through middle school math pathways revealed that our most academically prepared low-income and minority students are less likely to enter rigorous math pathways than their peers.
  • Math teachers at 13 middle and intermediate schools received intensive math instruction training provided by UT’s Center for STEM Education, impacting 10,000 students.
  • Our region’s second annual College Signing Day was a huge success! The University of Texas at Austin hosted 1,330 students from 32 high schools who committed to higher education completion.

Initiatives
  • Pathways of Promise Initiative

With the support of the Greater Texas Foundation, E3 Alliance is conducting research to better understand middle school math success, and to identify under-served  populations of students who are not benefiting from access to and success in rigorous math courses in middle school. Partners of Pathways of Promise, which includes 18 districts and institutions of higher  education, are committed to increasing the percentage of students entering more rigorous mathematics pathways with the goal of increasing college completion rates. Currently middle school math teachers in 5 districts are receiving intense professional development, which will directly benefit 10,000 students  through improved instruction.

Link for material:

  • Austin College Access Network

ACAN is made up of 8 community-based organizations dedicated to improving first generation college success. ACAN brings institutions of higher education  from across the region together to share best practices to improve support services, track student trends  and identify policies that hinder student success. In 2016, colleges leveraged a common FERPA-compliant  student data sharing process, the first of its kind in the nation, enabling partners to utilize data to identify  common targets with the goal of improving college completion.

  • College Signing Day

Blueprint leaders are committed to increasing college enrollment to 70%by 2020. This goal can only be reached by a culture shift that ALL students deserve to exit high school  college-ready and prepared for a lifetime of learning. Businesses, universities, school districts, and  non-profits will come together at the Third Annual Central Texas College Signing Day at Concordia  University on April 29, 2017. We expect more than 30 high schools to participate in this event, bringing 1,400 first generation students together to celebrate their commitment to degree completion.