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What are the college outcomes for the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools high school class of 2007 after six years?


Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia partnered with the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) to conduct this study, which examines college enrollment, persistence, and performance for the MNPS high school class of 2007 six years after high school graduation. The study used student-level data from the Tennessee Department of Education to define the graduating cohort of 2007 and to describe students' demographic characteristics. These data were linked with postsecondary data from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) and the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). The NSC provided enrollment and degree-completion data for students enrolled in a public postsecondary institution, and THEC provided data on credits earned and grade point average (GPA) for students enrolled in a Tennessee public postsecondary institution. Neither source provided data on private institutions, and NSC does not collect credit or GPA data. The study found that whereas first-time postsecondary enrollment rates for MNPS were similar to the statewide average, degree completion rates were lower for MNPS students than for students statewide. At the same time, gaps in enrollment and degree completion rates between White and Black students were smaller in MNPS than statewide. MNPS students overall performed below their peers statewide in their first year of college, but Black MNPS students had a higher mean GPA and earned more credits than Black students statewide. Results suggest several areas for further study. For example, Black/White enrollment, degree completion, and performance gaps in MNPS may be smaller than those statewide either because students from a single district may be more homogeneous or for reasons specific to MNPS. Additional outcomes or analytical techniques may reveal further differences between MNPS and students elsewhere in the state. In particular, as there were too few students who were non-White and non-Black to include in quantitative analysis, qualitative research may be necessary to determine the performance and needs of these students.

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What's Happening
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Publication Date:
February 2017