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ERIC Number: ED543219
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Replenishing Opportunity in America: The 2012 Midterm Report of Public Higher Education Systems in the Access to Success Initiative
Engle, Jennifer; Yeado, Joseph; Brusi, Rima; Cruz, Jose L.
Education Trust
To preserve our nation's democratic ideals and compete in the global economy, we must improve postsecondary educational attainment. Indeed, the stakes are so high that prominent government and business leaders have set a goal for the United States to regain its status as the world's most educated country by 2020. Given demographic and socioeconomic trends, this shift will require closing the achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from their peers. To address these issues, leaders from public higher education systems across the country launched the Access to Success Initiative in fall 2007, setting two ambitious goals: increase the number of college graduates in their states and ensure those graduates more broadly represent their states' high school graduates. Indeed, the A2S leaders pledged that by 2015 their systems would halve the gaps in college-going and completion that separate African-American, Latino, and American-Indian students from their white and Asian-American peers--and low-income students from more affluent ones. Today, the Access to Success Initiative counts 22 member systems and remains the only concerted effort to help public college and university systems boost attainment. Together, A2S systems represent 312 two-year and four-year campuses and serve more than 3.5 million students, educating about 1 in 5 students attending U.S. public institutions and nearly 2 in 5 students of color and low-income students attending public four-year institutions nationwide. Over the past four years, The Education Trust National Association of System Heads (NASH), and the U.S. Education Delivery Institute have facilitated A2S cross-system work and monitored progress toward the initiative's 2015 goals. This report chronicles progress made and lessons learned by A2S systems since the December 2009 release of "Charting a Necessary Path: The Baseline Report of Public Higher Education Systems in the Access to Success Initiative." In addition, 29 detailed system progress reports, including associate's and bachelor's reports, document how individual A2S systems are advancing. Access to Success systems developed metrics to track not only overall enrollment and completion rates, but measures for many students who are missing from or invisible in national higher education data sets such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), including low-income, part-time, and transfer students. The initiative's focus on both access and success, and its inclusive metrics, sidestep the pitfalls of widening access without graduating more students, or simply excluding more applicants. Overall, the A2S systems have seen the following results: (1) Enrollments and degrees have increased across the A2S systems, with climbing numbers among underrepresented minority (URM) students (African-American, Latino, and American-Indian students) and low-income students driving the improvements; (2) Access for underrepresented minority and low-income students has risen; and (3) Success rates need the most attention in two-year colleges, where rates are still low and gaps persistent. (Contains 11 figures and 16 endnotes.)
Education Trust. 1250 H Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-1217; Fax: 202-293-2605; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Lumina Foundation for Education; Carnegie Corporation of New York
Authoring Institution: Education Trust
Identifiers - Location: United States