Report Shows Early Focus on College Readiness Continues to Pay Off for RI Urban Students
Latest Annual Report Card from The College Crusade of Rhode Island reveals high college-going rates for its class of 2008, compared to state average
Providence, R.I., June 30, 2009 – The College Crusade of Rhode Island today released its latest Annual Report Card, which details the impact of the organization’s work with Rhode Island’s urban students during the 2007-2008 school year. The new report shows that, as in the past, students who are members of The College Crusade graduate from high school and go right on to college at much greater rates than their peers in the state’s urban school districts. Significantly, this year’s report also shows that they go right on to college at a higher rate than all Rhode Island students. The entire Report Card is available online at: http://www.thecollegecrusade.org/arc/2008arcdata.pdf
“The high college-going rates we have been seeing for Crusaders over the past few years is a reliable indicator that what we are doing works,” said Paul E. Moran, CPA, chair of The College Crusade. “We get urban students excited about their education and give them the tools and encouragement they need to stay focused on their college path. Everything we do is based on the idea that young people respond when caring adults take an active interest in their lives. Many Crusaders who are in college right now have had to overcome tremendous barriers along the way. They are living proof of what young people can achieve when adults are willing to offer guidance and support.”
“The College Crusade was a national model for the U.S. Department of Education’s GEAR UP program and has achieved remarkable results,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), who has supported the GEAR UP program since its inception in 1998. “It continues to operate one of the best college-access programs in the nation, providing crucial services and educational opportunities for thousands of students in Rhode Island.”
The new Annual Report Card shows how The College Crusade is progressing in its mission to increase educational and career success for youth in Rhode Island’s low-income urban communities. It provides a snapshot of information about Crusaders in various grades during 2007-2008. A highlight of the report is a comparison of graduation and college-going rates. For every 100 Crusaders who entered ninth grade in 2005, 70 graduated on time in 2008, and 48 went right on to college. These results exceed the overall rates for students in Rhode Island’s urban districts, where just 61 out of 100 entering ninth graders graduated on time and only 31 went right on to college.
Most strikingly, the college-going rate for Crusaders was higher than the rate for students in all Rhode Island districts. The report shows that for every 100 students who enter ninth grade, 48 Crusaders go right on to higher education while only 40 of all Rhode Island students do so.
The Report Card also underscores the connection between student success and The College Crusade’s practice of providing caring Advisors and college-readiness programs for youth throughout their middle school and high school years. Crusaders who graduated on time and went right on to college in 2008 spent over three times as many hours participating in the organization’s programs as Crusaders who did not graduate on time. They also spent five times as many hours with their College Crusade Advisors during high school.
“The success these students are having shows that The College Crusade gets it,” said Sarah Cahill, executive director of the Rhode Island After School Plus Alliance. “Research increasingly argues that the time children spend out of school is an underutilized asset and that well-designed afterschool programs sustained over time can have a powerful educational effect. With its extensive, multidisciplinary afterschool, weekend, and summer programming, The College Crusade is among our state’s most exemplary out-of-school-time program practitioners.”
Additional findings in the Annual Report Card compare Crusaders with other student groups on the basis of income and minority status and highlight the cost effectiveness of The College Crusade in the context of the state’s per-pupil investment in education.
About The College Crusade of Rhode Island
The College Crusade of Rhode Island is the state’s most comprehensive college-readiness and scholarship program for middle school and high school students in low-income urban school districts. It serves approximately 3,700 students per year and rewards the efforts and achievements of financially eligible students with up to four years of college scholarships. From grade 6 through grade 12, Crusaders experience the steady, nurturing presence of caring adults and participate in activities that focus on academic enrichment, social and personal development, career awareness and exploration, and readiness for college. Students who are members of The College Crusade graduate and go right on to college at much higher rates than their peers in the state’s urban school districts. Since 2001, The College Crusade has awarded over $20 million in college scholarships to more than 2,700 graduates from Rhode Island high schools. For more information, please visit www.thecollegecrusade.org.
The College Crusade is a nonprofit organization funded by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s GEAR UP program, by the State of Rhode Island, and by private corporations, foundations, and individuals.
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