Focus Areas | Postsecondary Readiness, Access, and Success
Smith County high school graduation rates have climbed in recent years to well above the state average; however, college readiness and college-going rates of students have remained unchanged. Currently, only 56% of all Smith County students are considered college-ready and 58% enroll in a college or university in Texas within six months of high school graduation.
The Postsecondary Readiness, Access, and Success networks are working together to make certain that students are adequately prepared for education beyond high school. In addition, the group network seeks to ensure that all students have access to higher education and have the tools necessary to be successful.
To ensure that the common agenda remains intact, the following definitions have been developed to drive the work:
Data are being collected and tracked on numerous academic indicators to college readiness such as standardized test scores, enrollment in advanced placement or dual credit courses, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), participation and SAT/ACT performance. In addition, the network is coordinating county-wide participation in the National Student Clearinghouse, a data service that allows high schools to accurately measure the college enrollment and success of their graduates.
Historically, the annual increase in degrees and certificates for colleges and universities in Smith County has been 4%. If that normal growth continues and the educational mobility of the county remains the same (i.e. the number of individuals with a postsecondary degree or credential moving out of Smith County is essentially the same as the number moving in), the percentage of adults completing education beyond high school would fall short of where we need to be to reach 60%. An additional 2,000 postsecondary certificates or degrees over the next 10 years would ensure that Smith County remains economically competitive. These credentials could be earned in high school career and technical programs, in a community college, or at a university.