New York City Partnership for College Readiness and Success
Co-Principal Investigators: Simone D'Souza (NYCDOE) and David Crook (CUNY)
Partners: The Research Alliance for New York City Schools at New York University (NYU), the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), and the City University of New York (CUNY)
Education Issue: The primary purpose of this three-way partnership is to build capacity for improved postsecondary education opportunities for New York City students by providing evidence about policies and practices that promote students' development and academic success in high school and college. Each of the participating institutions has established two-way partnerships with each other that are at various stages of maturity. Little has been done, however, to create the conditions for a coherent research agenda or to capitalize on the full range of research opportunities that arise from the unique pathway and data resources that exist between the two education systems and the research capacities that can be coordinated through the Research Alliance for New York City Schools at New York University.
Partnership Significance and Goal: The formation of this three-way partnership is motivated by the recognition that the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and the City University of New York (CUNY) represent a unique pipeline connecting K–12 and higher education. Two-thirds of all first year students in CUNY's 2- and 4-year colleges are graduates of a New York City public high school and more than 60 percent all New York City high school graduates who enroll in postsecondary education attend a CUNY college. This partnership will both promote research opportunities to shed light on the transition from high school to college and create conditions for developing new interventions aimed at improving student preparation for and success in the City's high education institutions.
Partners and Partnership Activities: NYCDOE and CUNY serve as the practitioner partners in this collaboration, and oversee the largest K–12 and urban university systems, respectively, in the country. Each of these institutions brings unique data and analytic resources to the partnership. The Research Alliance for New York City Schools, located at New York University, will manage the three-way partnership, and seeks to enhance the capacity of the NYCDOE and CUNY to monitor student progress toward college-ready credentials, hold schools and colleges accountable for helping students reach this goal, and develop interventions and supports for schools that struggle to keep students on track toward college.
During the project period, the partnership has four aims: (1) establishing the partnership infrastructure including the formation of a management team, a research advisory and review committee, short- and long-term research agendas, data and code sharing agreements, and forums for sharing work in progress and final research products; (2) conducting descriptive and exploratory studies that further the development of college-ready indicators and success and that identify individual, community, and organizational factors that enhance or inhibit college preparation, enrollment, persistence and performance; (3) identifying and/or developing systematic interventions that seek to enhance these factors; and (4) preparing an application for further IES funding.
Setting: The research for this project will be conducted in New York City.
Population/Sample: Research carried out by the partnership will use two extant data archives. The first, created by the Research Alliance, is a comprehensive and systematically organized archive of NYCDOE data, which includes up to 20 years of information about students, teachers, and schools in NYC. This archive also includes teacher, student and parent response on the New York City School Surveys and individual-level postsecondary enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse. The second is CUNY's Institutional Research Database (IRDB), which integrates student-level data from the separate student information systems at each CUNY college. The IRDB contains 15 years' worth of student registration, course-taking, course performance and graduation records and organizes that information in a way that facilitates both trend reporting and longitudinal tracking of students.
Initial Analyses: Researchers will first use descriptive analysis to explore the relationships between high school performance and college outcomes. Researchers will also use student-level information to investigate how the probability of being identified as college-ready (as measured across several dimensions) fluctuates for various subpopulations of students before, during, and shortly after the high school years. Furthermore, using a variety of different definitions of college readiness, researchers will test whether the relationship between high school performance and college success vary depending on the definition used. Once descriptive analyses are completed, the research team will use ordered logistic regressions to identify student engagement and achievement factors appropriate for inclusion in college readiness indicators and cross-validate these indicators with an independent sample of students.