Impacting College-Going and Completion Rates in Your Community: Taking a Systems Approach


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Over the past decade, the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning has served as the research and evaluation partner in more than a dozen foundation-supported efforts to improve college access and success outcomes, not just within individual programs, but also at a community level. In this workshop, the presenters will: a) present lessons learned from these community-level efforts; and b) guide participants in using a systems lens to identify how and where they fit in their local college access and completion system.

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Impacting College-Going and Completion Rates in Your Community: Taking a Systems Approach

  1. 1. Impacting College-Going and Completion Rates in Your Community: Taking a Systems Approach <br />NPEA Conference Workshop<br />April 29, 2011<br />Sarah Singer Quast<br />Project Manager<br /><br />1<br />
  2. 2. OMG’s CAS research: Current and past partners<br />
  3. 3. Key CAS Trends: Moving towards “Systems-Change”<br />An increasing number of foundations are supporting systems-level change initiatives. Foundations are trying to figure out ways to impact larger number of students through broader policy and practice changes. <br />CAS efforts focused on discrete programming – academic tutoring, college fairs, financial aid information, in-college supports.<br />Traditional Approach<br />Cooperation among CAS players for a coordinated system of supports – need for system-level and -informed changes to take us from current patchwork of programs to a coordinated system of comprehensive services and supportive policies. <br />New Approach<br />
  4. 4. “Systems-change”: Why the focus?<br />In many local communities:<br /><ul><li>Multiple organizations working towards the same goals independently
  5. 5. Multiple uncoordinated funding streams supporting the same goals
  6. 6. Perceptions of inefficiencies in the way resources are being distributed; potential duplicative efforts/initiatives
  7. 7. In an environment of limited resources, pressure to maximize, leverage, and coordinate existing resources at a community-level</li></li></ul><li>“Systems change”: Policy and practice examples<br /><ul><li>Curriculum alignment in Miami and Philadelphia
  8. 8. Community college policy change in San Francisco
  9. 9. New York City’s data warehouse
  10. 10. Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Council</li></li></ul><li>Tools for Taking a Systems Approach<br />Identifying Community CAS Stakeholders<br />Identifying Stakeholder Alignments<br />Brainstorming Policy and Practice Opportunities<br />Using Data to Drive the Agenda<br />
  11. 11. 1. Identifying Community CAS Stakeholders<br />Understanding who is already operating in your college access and success environment, both the usual and less usual players, is a first step in identifying new opportunities for impact. <br />Players that directly interact with students<br />Foundation-Driven Collaborations<br />Business Community<br />City Government-Driven Collaborations<br />Parents, family, adult mentors<br />Independent and Parochial Schools<br />Funding Partners<br /> School District<br />Students<br />Broader network that influences policy and system-level efforts<br />Intermediaries and Technical Assistance Providers<br />Community or School-Based Organizations<br />Institutions of Higher Education<br />Research Organizations<br />Advocacy and Communications Groups <br />Policymakers<br />Collaborative efforts that bring together multiple stakeholders<br />Federal Government-Driven Collaborations<br />Nonprofit-Driven Collaborations<br />7<br />
  12. 12. Example: Philadelphia<br />A scan that OMG conducted of the Philadelphia landscape in 2010 identified a variety of stakeholders operating in the local CAS system. <br />Business Community<br /><ul><li>Citizens Bank
  13. 13. Comcast
  14. 14. Independence Blue Cross
  15. 15. PricewaterhouseCoopers</li></ul>Graduate!Philadelphia<br />Parents, family, adult mentors<br />Student Success Center Learning Community<br /> School District <br />Offices of:<br /><ul><li>College and Career Awareness
  16. 16. Guidance Counseling and Promotion Standards
  17. 17. Teaching and Learning
  18. 18. High School Reform Policy and Research
  19. 19. Multiple Pathways to Graduation</li></ul>Funding Partners <br />(Citi Foundation<br /><ul><li>PA Department of Education
  20. 20. US Department of Education
  21. 21. US Department of Labor</li></ul>GEAR UP<br />Students<br />Intermediaries and Technical Assistance Providers<br /><ul><li>Academy for Educational Development (AED)
  22. 22. Philadelphia Youth Network
  23. 23. Public Education Network (PEN)</li></ul>Higher education<br /><ul><li>Community College of Philadelphia
  24. 24. PA State Universities
  25. 25. PA State-Related Universities
  26. 26. Local Private Colleges and Universities</li></ul>Community or School-Based Organizations<br /><ul><li>GEAR UP
  27. 27. Philadelphia Academies
  28. 28. Philadelphia Education Fund
  29. 29. Philadelphia Futures
  30. 30. Project GRAD
  31. 31. White Williams Scholars</li></ul>Research Organizations<br /><ul><li>Johns Hopkins University
  32. 32. Metis Associates
  33. 33. Philadelphia Education Fund
  34. 34. OMG Center for Collaborative Learning
  35. 35. Research for Action</li></ul>Advocacy and Communications Groups <br />Policymakers<br /><ul><li>Mayor Nutter
  36. 36. Mayor’s Chief Education Office
  37. 37. Congressman Chaka Fattah
  38. 38. Governor Rendell</li></ul>Citi Postsecondary Success Program City-Level Partnership<br />Education First Compact<br />Mayor’s Council for College and Career Success<br />College Prep Roundtable<br />8<br />
  39. 39. Who are the CAS Stakeholders in your community?<br /><ul><li>Who is providing supports to students directly?
  40. 40. Who are the other stakeholders that might have influence at the policy or system level?
  41. 41. Are there existing collaborations or collaborative efforts where multiple partners are coming together?
  42. 42. What connections does your organization currently have to these other stakeholders?</li></li></ul><li>2. Identifying Stakeholder Alignments<br />Thinking about where various stakeholders operate in the system can help to identify potential synergies among partners, as well as gaps in service. <br />City-wide Initiative Y<br />School District Initiative Z<br />Nonprofit Program X<br />
  43. 43. How do the efforts in your community align?<br /><ul><li>Which stakeholders are serving students at different or similar points in the pipeline?
  44. 44. Which CAS efforts are targeting change at the student, school, or system level?
  45. 45. Where are you operating in the CAS system?
  46. 46. Which stakeholders are operating in the same space as your organization?
  47. 47. Where are their gaps in the system?</li></li></ul><li>3. Brainstorming Policy and System-Level Practice Opportunities<br />System-level solutions emerge from thinking about student-level challenges and successes, and how these might be translated into broader changes that could impact an expanded group of students.<br />Nonprofit Changes<br />Federal Changes<br />Policy<br />Practice<br />Identified Student-Level Successes and Challenges<br />School Changes<br />State Changes<br />District Changes<br />City Changes<br />Higher Ed Changes<br />
  48. 48. What are potential areas of policy and practice to target?<br /><ul><li>What are the strongest factors in your experience that currently help students who successfully go to and stay in college?
  49. 49. What challenges/barriers are holding back unsuccessful students the most?
  50. 50. How could successful factors be replicated for students by nonprofits, at the school level, through district policy, etc?
  51. 51. How could challenges/barriers be systematically removed for students?</li></li></ul><li>4. Using Data to Drive the Agenda<br />Data serve as a key tool for testing ideas about student challenges and successes, as well as practice and policy areas. Data can help to provide the evidence base for joint and coordinated action across partners and with new stakeholders.<br />3. Assess data availability:<br /><ul><li>Your org’s data collection
  52. 52. Other known data sources
  53. 53. Potential pathways or partnerships for obtaining additional data</li></ul>1. Frame questions to:<br /><ul><li>Test hunches
  54. 54. Develop evidence base</li></ul>2. Consider key data indicators:<br /><ul><li>Identify which milestones answer questions
  55. 55. Tweak questions, if necessary</li></li></ul><li>4. Using Data to Drive the Agenda: Consider Key Data Indicators<br />Key quantitative measures of college access and success milestones include the following.<br />High school Indicators <br />College Indicators<br />
  56. 56. What data can help test and drive the CAS agenda?<br /><ul><li>What are key questions from your policy and practice brainstorm?
  57. 57. What indicators would help answer these questions?
  58. 58. What data is your organization already collecting?
  59. 59. What data might be available through other stakeholders in the system?</li>