Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Boston Public High School Graduates Struggle to Finish College: Report Prompts Concerns about Whether Boston Public High School Graduates Are College-Ready and If Colleges Are Doing Enough to Help Students Graduate

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Boston Public High School Graduates Struggle to Finish College: Report Prompts Concerns about Whether Boston Public High School Graduates Are College-Ready and If Colleges Are Doing Enough to Help Students Graduate

Article excerpt

While Boston has one of the highest college enrollment rates in the nation, less than half of all those who earn a high school diploma graduate from college within six years, according to a recent report released by the Boston Private Industry Council and the Center for Labor Market Studies.

The report, rifled "Getting to the Finish Line: A Seven Year Longitudinal Study of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Class of 2000," examined the overall high school graduation and enrollment rates of Boston high school graduates at colleges and universities. The study found that students who stayed closer to home, opting to attend a public college instead of a private institution, had a graduation rate of only about 25 percent, though private institutions in the city, like Northeastern University, tended to boast much higher numbers.

The findings from the study have sent political and educational leaders scrambling to find new ways to increase retention efforts, particularly at area public colleges like University of Massachusetts Boston, where only 20.7 percent of the 150 students from the class of 2000 earned a degree by the spring of 2007.

"We are proud that Boston sends more graduates to college than just about any city in the country, but we must do more to ensure success once they are there," says Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who has called for a 50 percent increase in the college graduation rate for college enrollees from the BPS Class of 2009, and a 100 percent increase--doubling the college graduation rate--for college enrollees from the BPS Class of 2011.

Menino also says he wants high schools to double the number of Advanced Placement (AP) classes in public high schools and wants to raise the average SAT score to about 1650, to ensure that students are academically prepared once they arrive at college. For students who attend college in Boston, Menino says that he wants to create more job and internship opportunities for high school graduates, an initiative that has won the financial support of the Boston Foundation, which has agreed to donate $1 million aimed at assisting these retention efforts.

Officials have also aggressively targeted Hispanic and Black high school students who continue to lag far behind their White and Asian counterparts. For example, of the 1,472 Black students who earned a high school diploma from the Boston Public Schools in 2000, only 249 of those students received a college degree by the spring of 2007. Similarly, only 74 of the 581 Hispanic high school graduates earned a college degree during that same time period.

Some educators at public institutions across the Boston area seem less concerned that students enrolled at their institutions tend to take a longer time to complete their degree. They point to national data that indicate that fewer than half of the students who enroll in college in this country graduate within six years. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.