Graduate918 is an ImpactTulsa partnership focused on increasing high school completion and postsecondary enrollment.
2015 hard already been big for Graduate918. We had engagement from a diverse set of local leaders including K-12, and post secondary educators, as well as members of the business, philanthropic and faith community. These partners all came together to discuss ways to increase the number of students completing high school ready for college or career.
Our educational partners are much more than educators – they are economic developers. The close tie between education and economic development is indisputable. Regions with higher educational attainment are also regions with robust and dynamic local economies. Improving Tulsa’s economy begins with our ability to graduate more students from high school who are ready to continue their education and prepared to enter the workforce.
What we know:
- The current Tulsa County graduation rate is 70%, which is 8% lower than our state graduation rate.
- Individual high school graduation rate ranges between 53% and 95%+.
- Only 52% of the graduating class of 2014 completed their FAFSA forms, a key component to entering postsecondary education, leaving a minimum of $13 million in grants for higher education on the table.
ImpactTulsa’s partnership is also focused on best practice strategies for preparing high school students for postsecondary education and career. We have a tall task ahead, but we also know we have great local examples from which to learn. Many of our ImpactTulsa partner high schools graduate more than 85% of their students. With Tulsa Achieves, Accelerating Independence and Oklahoma’s Promise, we also have resources in this community that make the road to a postsecondary education far more attainable than in other parts of the country.
Our Graduate918 partnership has identified process drivers to analyze including: increasing applications (FAFSA, Oklahoma’s Promise, Tulsa Achieves, Accelerating Independence), concurrent enrollment, and counselors dedicated to high school completion and postsecondary enrollment as priorities to increase graduation rates and improve the local economy.
Action is already underway and we are excited to continue to engage new partners as we move forward to the truly unprecedented work of improving the lives of students and the overall quality of life of our community.
by Monroe Nichols, Chief Operations Officer
Ready to join the partnership? Click here!
Sources: Oklahoma Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, and ImpactTulsa data analysis.