Last week, Jobs for the Future released a paper by AISR’s interim executive director Michael Grady, as part of their series on college readiness and success. Entitled “How High Schools and Colleges Can Team Up to Use Data and Increase Student Success,” Grady’s paper proposes four essential elements for implementation of effective cross-sector data collaboration to increase college readiness and success, providing examples of promising practices for each:
- Secure broad-based leadership support;
- Build cross-sector data infrastructure;
- Strengthen staff capacity to use data effectively; and
- Forge strategic partnerships among K-12, higher education, and community organizations.
Below we share an excerpt that lays out the importance of the fourth element – strategic partnerships – highlighting New York City’s LINCT to Success Program.
Data Collaboration Tip #4: Forge Strategic Partnerships with Community Organizations
By Michael Grady
Increasingly, public schools and colleges are sharing data with community partners to extend and strengthen the web of academic and social supports for students both in and beyond the traditional school day. Interagency efforts involving education, social services, health care, faith institutions, youth development, and college access programs promote the delivery of comprehensive services that is only possible through cross-sector collaboration. Collaboration increases the potential power of the co-design, co-delivery, co-validation model to include services and supports beyond the formal K-16 education realm. Building students’ abilities in the noncognitive and college knowledge domains of college readiness are a particular strength of the community provider organizations which complement the academic focus of the regular school day.
- Community-based organizations have become significant providers of college access supports and, increasingly, are collecting valuable data on youth development, especially in the noncognitive domain.
- Given this expansion in influence, community providers could be valuable members of a cross-sector approach to collaborative research.
- Adding community providers as a source of student supports requires careful coordination with educators to ensure alignment with what students are experiencing in school and college.
LINCT to Success is a New York City-based partnership between New Visions for Public Schools, CUNY, and other education and college access organizations serving public high school students in NYC. Launched in 2008, the program formerly known as At Home in College provides college access and transition supports to over 2,000 high school seniors attending 60 New York City public high schools. The overall program aim is to increase students’ college enrollment, persistence, performance, and completion rates.
LINCT provides a wide array of academic supports for students in the transition zone from the high school senior year through the first year of college. While still in high school, students take the CUNY placement exam and use that data to develop an individualized learning plan with the appropriate range and intensity of academic supports needed to qualify for credit-bearing college coursework once they enroll in college. For students who require a more extensive level of support, LINCT offers accelerated courses in English and math. Students are allowed to retake the placement assessment at multiple points in their course of study to chart progress and adjust their learning goals as progress dictates.
In addition to academic assistance, LINCT provides students with other key college access supports such as completing college applications, seeking maximum financial assistance, and visiting campuses. A summer “bridge” program supports students in the period between high school graduation and college enrollment and provides first-year advising services. As part of a rigorous, multi-year evaluation, researchers compared the postsecondary readiness and enrollment rates of LINCT students to a matched group of high school peers. In 2014, LINCT students outperformed the comparison group by 15 points on the ELA readiness benchmark and by 5 points in math readiness. Likewise, 4 percent more LINCT students graduated from high school and 5 percent more enrolled in CUNY following graduation than the comparison group.
Michael Grady is interim executive director of AISR and an assistant professor of practice in the Urban Education Policy Master’s Program at Brown University.