Community-Wide College Readiness Initiatives

On March 14, 2013, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform hosted a webinar, College Readiness: A Citywide Commitment, as part the College Readiness Indicator System (CRIS) project. The webinar highlighted community-wide college readiness initiatives in Dallas and Pittsburgh and shared lessons learned in building and sustaining community partnerships.

Jonathan Feinstein, Director of Community Engagement, and Ashley Bryan, Associate, discussed Commit!, the Dallas-based county-wide partnership aimed at supporting student success from cradle to career. The partnership, which includes representation from across the continuum from early childhood to higher education and the workforce, developed 11 indicators of college readiness and beginning this year have released community scorecards that share progress against those indicators. Commit! plans to establish community networks around each indicator to support the development of collaborative action plans focused strategically on outcomes.

Saleem Ghubril, Executive Director, and Gene Walker, Benchmarks Manager, shared information about The Pittsburg Promise, a city-wide initiative begun in 2007 to revitalize Pittsburgh and strengthen its workforce through three main goals: increase graduation rate and advance college access; develop and utilize a well-prepared and engaged work force; and reverse the decline in population of the city and its schools. The Pittsburg Promise culminates in a college scholarship worth up to 40,000 dollars for students that have a 90% attendance rate and keep a 2.5 GPA through high school. In addition to the scholarship, the initiative employs a number of other strategies to support student success including mentoring, college tours, internships, and coaches.

For more information about these two initiatives, check out the video archive or the PowerPoint presentation from the webinar. For more information about the CRIS project, visit http://annenberginstitute.org/project/cris.

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