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College Success

vision
status = unchanged

We achieve our full potential.

We have the education, skills and opportunities to achieve
our full potential and lead meaningful, joyful lives.

50% of Central Texas graduates earn a post-secondary credential within 6 years of finishing high school

Indicator: Percent of Central Texas high school graduates who earn a post-secondary credential within 6 years of enrolling in a Texas college or university

Goal: Increase the % of Central Texas high school graduates who earn a post-secondary credential within 6 years of enrolling in a Texas college or university

Target: 55% for the Class of 2014 (by 2020)

Key Trends: Half of Central Texas students who enroll in a Texas college or university within one year of graduating from high school earn a post secondary credential in six years, and this rate has remained flat for five years. With no significant improvement, the high school graduating Class of 2014 is unlikely to meet the community target of 55% college success by 2020. There is a large disparity by race and ethnicity. Only 33% of Black students and 35% of Hispanic students achieve this college success measure, compared to 57% of White students and 69% of Asian students. This disparity has remained fairly constant over time.

what the data tell us

One-half of the Central Texas high school graduates in the Class of 2008 completed a post-secondary credential (certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree) within six years of enrolling in a Texas college or university. It is important to note that the completion rate does not include the estimated 7% of area graduates who attend an institution of higher education out of state, due to unavailability of data for these students.

Definition: The percent of Central Texas graduates who complete a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree within 6 years of enrolling in a Texas college or university. Central Texas is here defined as an aggregate of data from school districts within the five county Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties), plus all other school districts included in the Austin Community College Service Area

Data Source: E3 Alliance analysis of data at the UT Austin Education Research Center

Data Considerations: The calculations only include data on students from institutions who share data with Texas’ Education Research Centers. Students who attend institutions who do not report their data and those attending college out-of-state are excluded from the calculation, which may artificially lower the success rate. E3 Alliance estimates that about 7% of graduates in the cohort attend college out-of-state.

the story behind the indicator

Attaining a post-secondary credential is critical if local high school graduates hope to participate in Austin’s growing economy. A Georgetown University report found that 62% of jobs in Texas will require education beyond high school by 2020. The Hamilton Project found that earnings for people with a high school diploma or less have declined while earnings have increased for people with a bachelor’s degree or above between 1990 and 2013.

According to data by the E3 Alliance and the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Education Progress Reports, local direct-to-college enrollment rates for graduates of Central Texas high schools appear to have flattened or even declined, even as high school graduation rates have increased.

Only half of Central Texas high school graduates earn a post-secondary credential within six years of enrolling in college. There is a large disparity by race and ethnicity and by income. Local Black and Hispanic high school graduates complete college within 6-years at much lower rates than local Asian or White high school graduates. For the Class of 2008, about 33% of Black and 35% of Hispanic high school graduates completed college within six years, compared to 69% of Asians and 57% of Whites.

a closer look

Click on one of the titles below for more information.

» central Texas hs Graduates who earn a post-secondary credential within 6 years of enrolling in a Texas college or university, by race and ethnicity

Local Black and Hispanic high school graduates complete college within 6-years at much lower rates than local Asian or White high school graduates. For the Class of 2008, about 33% of Black and 35% of Hispanic high school graduates completed college within six years, compared to 69% of Asians and 57% of Whites. Overall, 50% of Central Texas high school graduates earn a post-secondary credential within 6 years of enrolling in a Texas college or university.

Definition: The percent of Central Texas high school graduates who complete a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree within 6 years of enrolling in a Texas college or university. Central Texas is here defined as an aggregate of data from school districts within the five county Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties), plus all other school districts included in the Austin Community College Service Area.

Data Source: E3 Alliance analysis of data at the UT Austin Education Research Center

Data Considerations: The calculations only include data on students from institutions who share data with Texas’ Education Research Centers. Students who attend institutions that do not report this data and those attending college out-of-state are excluded from the calculation, which may artificially lower the success rate.

» percent of central Texas High School Graduates Who Earn a post-secondary credential within 6 years of Completing High School, by income

Central Texas high school graduates from low-income families complete college within 6-years at much lower rates than graduates from moderate to high-income families. For the Class of 2008, about 30% of low-income high school graduates completed college by 2014, compared to 57% of moderate to high-income graduates.

Definition: The percent of Central Texas graduates who complete a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree within 6 years of enrolling in a Texas college or university. Central Texas is here defined as an aggregate of data from school districts within the five county Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties), plus all other school districts included in the Austin Community College Service Area

Data Source: E3 Alliance analysis of data at the UT Austin Education Research Center

Data Considerations: The calculations only include data on students from institutions who share data with Texas’ Education Research Centers. Students who attend institutions who do not report their data and those attending college out-of-state are excluded from the calculation, which may artificially lower the success rate.

» college enrollment of central Texas Graduates, by institution of higher education

Ensuring the success of students at Austin Community College is critical, as an E3 Alliance analysis of data from the University of Texas Education Research Center indicates that about a third of Central Texas students who enrolled in an institution of higher education within a year of graduating did so at ACC. Another 11% attended Texas State University in San Marcos, 8% attended the University of Texas at Austin, and 7% attended Texas A&M-College Station. Over half of students in the Class of 2013 who enrolled in a Texas college within a year of graduating high school enrolled in these four institutions.

Definition: institutions of higher education in which Central Texas graduates in the class of 2013 have enrolled within one year of graduating high school

Data Source: E3 Alliance analysis of data at the UT Austin Education Research Center

Data Considerations: The calculations only include data on students from institutions who share data with Texas’ Education Research Centers. Students who attend institutions who do not report their data and those attending college out-of-state are excluded from the calculation.E3 Alliance estimates that about 7% of local graduates attend college out-of-state.

» % of the population with an Associate's degree or higher

Local residents possess a high level of education in comparison to adults across Texas and the U.S. as a whole. In 2014, about half of residents 25 and over in Austin and Travis County had attained at least an associate’s degree, significantly higher than the 35% in Texas and the U.S. overall.

Definition: Percent of individuals 25 and over who have obtained an associate’s degree or higher

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1 Year Estimates

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data.

» Postsecondary Educational Attainment - Travis County, 2014

In 2014, 70% of Travis County residents, age 25 and over, had undertaken some form of education or training beyond the high school level.

Definition: Percent of individuals 25 and over in Travis County who have achieved a given educational level

Data Source: American Community Survey, 1 Year Estimates

Data Considerations: The American Community Survey samples 3% of the Nation’s population. Due to small sample sizes, margins of error are increased and hard to reach populations may not be accurately represented in the data. The “Some College” category includes individuals who have taken some college courses. This may include individuals who have earned an occupational certificate that is not considered an Associate’s Degree.

» Graduation Rate for First-Time, Degree/Certificate-Seeking Undergraduates - 150% of "Normal Time" Austin-Round Rock area institutions, 2008/2011 cohort

Disparities exist in graduation rates among area higher education institutions. Students at larger universities, such as the University of Texas at Austin, complete a degree within 150% of 'normal' time at higher rates than students at smaller, local institutions. According to the ACC Factbook, for students enrolled in the Fall 2015 semester, 41.17% of students intended to take credits for transfer to another institution. The number of ACC students intending to complete an Associate’s degree, however, has increased to 34.71%, from a Fall 2013 rate of 27.46%.

Definition: Percent of first-time, degree-seeking undergraduates who complete a degree program within 6-years of enrolling in higher education or transfer to another institution of higher education

Data Source: National Center for Education Statistics - Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

Data Considerations: This measure includes only first-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students, excluding those taking courses that do not lead to a specific credential, as well as students who were previously enrolled at another institution. A student is considered to have completed within 150% of ‘normal time’ if they received a 2-year degree within 3 years or a bachelor’s degree within 6 years. Austin Community College’s data reflects the Fall 2009 entering cohort. All other data refers to the Fall 2008 entering cohort.

Not all institutions report transfer-out rates. Furthermore, students included in the transfer-out rate did not necessarily complete a degree at the institution to which they transferred.

» First Year Retention Rates for First-Time, degree-seeking Students beginning in fall 2014, Austin-Round Rock area institutions

Retention rates from students’ first- to second-years varies across local institutions. Across colleges and universities, full-time students typically have higher retention rates than part-time students.

Definition: Percent of first-time, degree-seeking undergraduates enrolled in Fall 2014 who returned to the institution in Fall 2015, by full-time or part-time status

Data Source: National Center for Education Statistics- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

Data Considerations: This measure includes only first-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students, excluding those taking courses that do not lead to a specific credential, as well as students who were previously enrolled at another institution. Students are considered enrolled if they are registered for classes on October 15 or the school’s official census date, whichever comes first. In Texas, the 12th class day of the Fall semester is considered the official census date.

Not all institutions report retention rates for part-time students.

» central Texas Seniors' Plans for the Year Following High School Graduation

Central Texas seniors overwhelmingly report that they plan to attend college the year following high school graduation. In 2014, 89% stated that they planned to attend college without working or while working a full or part-time job. The majority of Texas seniors indicate they plan to work while attending college. As the previous chart shows, students who work part-time while in college are much less likely to persist from the first year of college to the second.

Definition: Percent of high school seniors reporting what they plan to be doing the year following high school graduation. Central Texas is here defined as an 11 school district region including Austin, Bastrop, Del Valle, Eanes, Hays, Hutto, Lake Travis, Leander, Liberty Hill, Manor, Pflugerville, and San Marcos.

Data Source: Central Texas Student Futures Project

Data Considerations: Seniors completed the survey in their spring semester prior to graduation. Data reflected in this graph was aggregated from two survey tools: the Student Futures Project’s Senior Survey and the Austin ISD High School Exit Survey. Approximately 82% of seniors from the 10 school districts completed the surveys. In the 10-district sample, Austin ISD seniors make up the largest share of the survey sample (35%), followed by Leander ISD (19%) and Pflugerville ISD (15%).

» how central Texas Seniors Plan to pay for college

In 2014, 59% of seniors indicated that they planned on using scholarships and/or grants to pay for college and 38% indicated that they planned on using loans to pay for college, an increase from 57% and 35% respectively. The Central Texas Student Futures Project reports that this data indicates that students may not have a clear or realistic picture of how they will be paying for college. According to research by Matthew Reed and Debbie Cochrane, cited by the Central Texas Student Futures Project, the majority of Texas college students (59%) graduate with student loan debt.

Definition: The percentage of high school seniors that report planning to use each type of method to pay for college. Central Texas is here defined as an 11 school district region including Austin, Bastrop, Del Valle, Eanes, Hays, Hutto, Lake Travis, Leander, Manor, Pflugerville, and San Marcos.

Data Source: Central Texas Student Futures Project

Data Considerations: Seniors completed the survey in their spring semester prior to graduation. Data reflected in this graph was aggregated from two survey tools: the Student Futures Project’s Senior Survey and the Austin ISD High School Exit Survey. Approximately 82% of seniors from the 10 school districts completed the surveys. In the 10-district sample, Austin ISD seniors make up the largest share of the survey sample (35%), followed by Leander ISD (19%) and Pflugerville ISD (15%).

some local efforts to improve this indicator

  • The Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper Initiative brings together local partners to develop strategies for improving educational outcomes for boys and young men of color. Data, both locally and nationally, indicate that the greatest disparities in achievement are among young men of color. The local partnership includes Travis County, the City of Austin, Austin ISD, Austin Community College, Huston-Tillotson University, and the University of Texas at Austin. The effort will track indicators of achievement at all levels of education—from pre-k through college—to discover the strategies and initiative that will best help young men of color achieve their full potential.

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  • ACC has partnered with local school districts to create dual enrollment courses, allowing students to complete college credit while still attending high school. Austin Community College has initiated several student support programs in order to increase student success, including supports for students who have left the foster-care system, African-American, and Latino men, Pell-eligible students who have family responsibilities or non-traditional career goals, and students who require evening childcare.

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  • In the Summer 2014, ACC opened its Highland Campus. The new campus is home the ACCelerator, a high-tech learning lab that provides computer resources along with faculty, staff, and tutor support for students. At this location, ACC also offers its new Developmental Math course, which provides individualized learning modules that allow students to reach college-level math proficiency at their own pace.

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  • The Austin College Access Network (ACAN) is facilitated by the E3 Alliance. Many nonprofits that focus on college readiness activities , including Austin Partners in Education, Breakthrough Austin, College Forward, Con Mi Madre, and the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium, have joined ACAN to coordinate more closely on college bridge and persistence initiatives, particularly for first generation college students or other students facing barriers to successful college entry and completion. ACAN has worked collaboratively with Austin Community College, Texas State University, and Concordia University to support students during this transition.

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  • The Central Texas Student Futures Project, a partnership between the Ray Marshall Center and local school districts, combines surveys of high school seniors with administrative records to assess post-high school outcomes for area graduates. The project provides local stakeholders with data to assess factors associated with post-secondary educational and employment decisions.

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  • The Austin Chamber of Commerce works with area school districts to track the number of students prepared for, and enrolling in, college each year, with annual Education Progress Reports. At Financial Aid Saturday events, Chamber volunteers help local families file Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms, a key step in transitioning to college.

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  • The E3 Alliance Central Texas Education Profile is a comprehensive regional view of education trends and outcomes in Texas, with data available according to racial, economic, and gender breakdowns. The Central Texas Education Profile provides a wide range of actionable and relevant data for our region and connects the dots between student achievement and economic prosperity for our community. It includes data on the region’s demographic changes, early childhood education, K-12 student achievement, achievement gaps, absenteeism, high school graduation, college and career readiness, college enrollment, and student and economic outcomes and implications.

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vulnerable populations