Delaware Takes the Lead in Tackling College Readiness and Retention

July 17, 2013

Delaware took a major step today toward improving low college graduation rates that are holding back the capabilities of our workforce nationwide. Governor Jack Markell and Secretary of Education Mark Murphy joined researchers from the Strategic Data Project (SDP), a program of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, to release findings on Delaware students’ college readiness, enrollment, and retention, presenting one of the first thorough analyses done for any state by SDP. The project continues the data-driven approach to student achievement that helped Delaware win the Race to the Top federal funding competition.

With the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reporting barely half of college freshmen in the country earning a postsecondary degree within six years and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems finding that only 20 percent of high school freshmen reach that important milestone, Delaware partnered with SDP to document and better understand outcomes among Delaware’s young people. The state will use this analysis to inform policy initiatives to improve high school graduation, increase enrollment in college and other career pathway programs, and improve college retention rates in partnership with school districts and charter schools.

“To give Delawareans the best opportunity to succeed in the global economy and to build a workforce that attracts new and expanding companies, we must give our young people the best chance to graduate high school and successfully pursue further education and training,” Markell said, “Our strategies to improve educational opportunities can only succeed if we fully understand the obstacles that prevent students from reaching their potential. The data released today gives Delaware an advantage in determining the most effective way forward.”

Delaware College-Going Diagnostic: An Analysis of The First State Students’ College Readiness is the result of work between SDP and the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) using six years of data from the DDOE and the National Student Clearinghouse. The diagnostic examines students’ progression through high school, how well they stay on track for graduation, and whether they enroll and persist in postsecondary education.

[Delaware takes the lead in tackling college readiness and retention]
[Visit the SDP Partner Page for Delaware]