SEATTLE/SOUTH KING COUNTY – A new report is helping inform educational improvement efforts in the region by examining local high school graduates on their journey through seven local community and technical colleges (CTCs). The report sets a baseline and reveals low rates of credential completion, especially among students of color. The report also spotlights important collaborative efforts under way between K-12 and college institutions to improve outcomes for students in the South Seattle and South King County region.

Community and technical colleges are critical institutions for many students’ academic and career goals. Of recent high school graduates enrolling in college, half attend one of the seven community and technical colleges included in the report (see below for the list of colleges). However, unlike familiar K-12 data points, such as test scores, college outcomes for these students have never before been presented in such detail. This report is unique in the way it follows the progress of a class of high school graduates who enroll both full-time and part-time in CTCs.

“We welcome this first-of-a-kind research as another way to inform our college’s steadfast focus on providing higher education access to the incredibly diverse community we serve, with programs like our 13th Year Promise Scholarship,” said South Seattle College President Gary Oertli.

Key report findings include:

  • Only one-third of recent high school graduates enrolling in our local CTCs complete a credential or transfer to a four-year college within three years
  • Part-time students are half as likely to attain a credential or transfer out to four-year colleges than full-time students during the period studied
  • Too many students are graduating from high school not prepared for college-level work
  • Students of color are less likely to be college-ready and more likely to attend part-time, contributing to lower rates of graduation and transfer

“This exceptional report shows the importance of improving college readiness and performance at colleges and school districts in South Seattle and South King County. This type of analysis, which represents real partnership between the state, the Road Map Project and area postsecondary institutions and school districts, is precisely what we need in order to build an education system that focuses on student needs. I hope communities across the nation take note,” said Haley Glover, Strategy Director for Lumina Foundation. Lumina is a leading philanthropic organization committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.

CTCs are an important pathway for young people to achieve better jobs, higher wages and increased economic stability. We all lose if we don’t invest in improving our higher education system. The report highlights actions that can be undertaken by local institutions and the broader community to increase student success.

The commitment and partnership of the region’s K-12, postsecondary institutions and state education agencies made this report possible:

Colleges School districts State agencies
  • Bellevue College
  • Green River College
  • Highline College
  • Renton Technical College
  • North Seattle College
  • Seattle Central College
  • South Seattle College
  • Auburn School District
  • Federal Way Public Schools
  • Highline Public Schools
  • Kent School District
  • Renton School District
  • Seattle Public Schools
  • Tukwila School District
  • State Board of Community
    & Technical Colleges
  • Washington Student Achievement Council
  • Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction
  • Washington State Education Research and Data Center

This analysis will be repeated annually. Read the entire report.


Posted in: College and Career Success

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