Every high school graduate earns a post-secondary degree or certification.
37% of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools’ graduates complete a post-secondary degree or certification within six years of graduation. This lags behind the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan area rate of 51% of residents ages 25-64 having earned an associate’s degree or higher. Neither rate meets the State of Minnesota’s year 2025 goal of a 70% post-secondary attainment rate for all ethnic groups.
Post-secondary completion rate analysis
As Generation Next analyzed outcomes of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools’ graduates, two major trends emerge:
Generation Next has sought strategies that accelerate students in the academic red zones. The impact potential seems greatest with those students likely to view post-secondary enrollment as unattainable. As a national promising practice, dual enrollment can benefit a range of students, and is shown to have a greater positive impact on those exact students who receive limited access. Additional dual enrollment benefits include:
A racially predictive gap exists in dual enrollment participation in Saint Paul and Minneapolis public high schools. In partnership with the Center for School Change, Generation Next helped to arrange funding for three non-traditional high schools to expand dual enrollment access to their students. For the 2016-17 school year, students at PYC Arts & Tech High School, Face to Face Academy and Fairview Alternative High School have selected the system of dual enrollment courses which best meets the needs of their students.
Our community’s post-secondary completion challenges are not solely the students’ responsibility. Higher education institutions must also be prepared to meet the academic skills of the students they accept, particularly graduates with non-traditional challenges. In the coming year, Generation Next efforts will focus on retention and completion supports provided to students.