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Using High School Data to Predict Early College Success in Palau

Region:
Pacific
Abstract:

Description: As part of its Education Master Plan 2026, the Palau Ministry of Education (MOE) has developed a series of goals in the areas of student-centered learning, educational and instructional leadership, curriculum enhancement, MOE resource support, and partnership support. Consistent with this ten-year strategic planning initiative, the Ministry and Palau Community College (PCC)—the island's lone public postsecondary education institution—are working to align their education systems to better prepare Palau students for the rigors of college-level coursework. The MOE is considering changes to its high school graduation requirements as a strategy to achieve this goal. However, little is known about the college readiness of Palau High School graduates who enroll at PCC.

Administrators at the MOE and PCC want to better understand the high school experiences of graduates have shown to be more prepared to succeed at PCC based on measures of early college success and college readiness, including earning college-level credits in first-semesters courses in English and math, first year grade point averages (GPA), and persisting to a second year of college enrollment. Palau stakeholders are also interested in whether academic preparation in high school predicts the longer-term outcome of college completion.

This study will identify (a) the specific student characteristics and aspects of students' high school preparation that predict early success in college and college completion, and (b) the percentage of Palau High School students who participated in the types academic preparation found to predict college success. In combination these analyses will provide actionable information that can be used by the MOE and PCC to make decisions about how to improve college readiness and implement changes to practice.

Research Questions:

  1. Among graduates of Palau High School who matriculate to Palau Community College, which demographic and academic preparation characteristics from grades 9 through 12 are statistically significant predictors of early college success as measured by earning credit in college-level English and math courses, maintaining a first year GPA of 2.0 or higher, and persisting beyond the first semester of enrollment?
  2. Among graduates of Palau High School who matriculate to Palau Community College, which demographic and academic preparation characteristics from grades 9 through 12 are statistically significant predictors of completing an associate degree or certificate in 150% of normal time?
  3. To what extent are students who matriculate to Palau Community College from Palau High School participating in the types of academic preparation during grades 9–12 found to be statistically significant predictors of early college success and degree completion?

Study Design: The first research question will be answered through a series of logistic regression models for each of the early college success outcome measures (earning credit in the first semester, first year GPA, and persisting to a second year) and whether students' academic and/or background characteristics are statistically significant predictors of each measure of success.

The second research question will be answered using a series of logistic regression models to find and whether students' academic and/or background characteristics are statistically significant predictors of college completion.

The final research question will use the results from research questions 1 and 2 and identify to what extent Palau High School students are participating in the types of academic preparation shown to be predictive of early college success and completion and whether certain types of students have a greater propensity for participating in these academic activities compared to other students.

Projected Release Date: Early 2020

Partnership or Research Alliance: Palau Partnership for College and Career Readiness and Success

Study Related Products: What's Happening report
Stated Briefly report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:
David Stuit, Basis Policy Research
Evan Rhinesmith, Basis Policy Research