College enrollment among Buffalo public high school students has increased by 9 percentage points with the Class of 2013. The number of graduates moving on to two and four-year colleges went from 57 percent in 2012 to 66 percent in 2013.
The hike for 2013 graduates is the highest percentage increase in seven years. The news was announced during a Say Yes Buffalo Community Leadership Meeting Wednesday.
The district points to the collaboration with Say Yes Buffalo and local stakeholders including the City of Buffalo, Erie County, the District Parent Coordinating Council, the Buffalo Teachers Federation, Buffalo Council of Administrators, NYS Board of Regents, higher education, businesses, faith based organizations, foundations and community-based organizations for the higher rate.
Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown says the collaborative effort through Say Yes has brought new programs aimed at boosting student interest in post-secondary education. Those include student management system that identifies where students need help and gets them the assistance they need, a college and career success center that helps families fill out FAFSA applications, and various afterschool programs.
President of the District Parent Coordinating Council Sam Radford says he believes the district is on track to boost high school graduation, as well.
“I think the things that need to happen in order to get a good education system are starting to happen. It’s hard, it’s an uphill battle, but anything worth having is hard. I think that we’re on the right track and I think today was a testament to that,” said Radford.
Regent’s Chancellor Emeritus Robert Bennett says getting students to college is only the first step. He says the New York State Education Department along with the Regents are working to get students to college without having to take remedial courses.
“We don’t want anybody to graduate from high school that isn’t ready for college. And quite frankly, if you only pass five exams at 65 percent, the research says you’re not ready for college. We have to look at career education more in depth, to say the least, and then we’ve got to make sure that we’re working with Higher Ed to take a look at the assessment that they use and connect then to high schools,” said Bennett.
The college enrollment data was compiled by the National Student Clearinghouse, an educational research organization that analyzes enrollment data from more than 3,500 colleges and universities.