10 April 2009

New Report Out On DPS College Attendance

Many kids who start high school in the Denver Public Schools don't finish, and great dispartities in college attendance exist even for those who do graduate according to a new Piton Foundation that confirms and quantifies what anyone familiar with educational outcome statistics would have predicted.

Only 39 percent of Denver's Latinos who graduate from high school enroll in college — and only 25 percent of those earn degrees or certificates in six years, according to a study on how the city's students fare in college.

The study followed 18,000 students who graduated from Denver Public Schools from 2002 to 2007 and found 56 percent enrolled in college. This is occurring in a district where only 52 percent of students graduate from high school.

Enrollment rates differ among ethnic groups and income levels, with 71 percent of white high school grads enrolling in college, 63 percent of black students and 45 percent of low-income students . . . .

College enrollment rates were higher among students who took accelerated courses in high school, an outcome that was consistent regardless of race or income. Low-income students were underrepresented in the district's accelerated courses and programs. But low-income and minority students took greatest advantage of high school courses that offered college credits. "Students who participated in multiple programs went to college at twice the rate than those who didn't" . . . .

• Sixty percent of DPS grads who entered college within 12 months of high school either completed a degree or certificate or were still enrolled after six years.

• Minority and low- income grads enrolled in community colleges at higher rates. White and wealthier students enrolled in four-year colleges.

• DPS grads are slightly less likely to enroll in college than 18- to 24- year-olds around the U.S., but the rates were similar among districts that served large Latino populations.

This suggests that less than one in six kids who start high school at DPS earn a degree or are still in college six years after graduating. The percentage is less than five percent for Latino DPS students.

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