In April 2009, the University of California, Merced, Center for Educational Partnerships launched the “Equity and Access Initiative.” The Data Analysis and Evaluations unit at the CEP is responsible for developing new practices and procedures that ensure students are given an equal opportunity to graduate, having the greatest number of postsecondary choices from the widest array of options.
Envisioned as work that should penetrate every aspect of a district’s operation, the initial emphasis focuses on placing students in appropriate courses to graduate college and be career ready. The second phase of this effort focuses on increasing the number of students who become eligible and apply to four-year colleges and universities. Partnership districts have gone as far as re-designing their district’s summer school program to afford students as many postsecondary options as possible.
Prior to 2009, the CEP Data Analysis and Evaluations work around Equity and Access consisted of analyzing student data to identify students performing at proficient or advanced levels on state standardized tests but with a GPA lower than 2.0. As a result of these analyses, school leaders uncovered individual obstacles and helped provide resources so that students stayed – or got back – on target to graduate. Other efforts consisted of counselors analyzing students' transcripts to identify deficiencies for both meeting the A-G course pattern as well as the district’s graduation requirements. As a result of this activity, counselors are able to identify 9-12th grade students with graduation credit deficiencies that could prevent them from graduating from high school.
CEP partners with the University of California Office of the President to analyze all district partners’ transcripts electronically through its Transcript Evaluation Service (TES) for the specific purpose of measuring A-G completion rates by grade level for all students. These data can then be uploaded to CEP’s Equity and Access A-G Monitoring Tool,which is typically introduced and accessible to counselors. The A-G Monitoring Tool allows counselors, among other things, to identify students who are on track to graduate and are close to meeting the minimum A-G courses. Once identified, counselors can provide appropriate scheduling interventions to ensure that students graduate having the greatest number of postsecondary choices from the widest array of options.
More importantly, district staff is able to identify site and district-wide practices and procedures that have a limiting effect on the number of students who graduate college and are career-ready. While there are other tools that CEP has created to advance Equity and Access, the underlying theme to all of them is that students deserve an equal opportunity to graduate, having the greatest number of postsecondary choices from the widest array of options. CEP, in partnership with district partners, will continue – to identify site and district-wide practices and procedures that have a limiting effect on the number of students who graduate college and career-ready.
The A-G Course Monitoring tool tracks the A-G completion for students in grades 9-12 and assigns the appropriate status of On-Track, Subject Borderline, or Off-track status based on the Transcript Evaluation Services (TES) benchmarks established by the University of California.
The tool determines students’ A-G status by weighing in validation rules from the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU); course repeats, and any other appropriate articulation rules that counselors are unable to manually process. The tool calculates students’ UC and CSU GPA based on coursework completed and in-progress.
The tool generates an Individual Academic Plan (IAP) for every student, outlining their progress towards completing the UC and CSU approved A-G subject requirements. The end user can run different queries that helps inform master schedules, class scheduling, student support interventions necessary for students to progress and complete the required UC and CSU courses for UC and CSU eligibility.
The counseling data dashboard stores a number of metrics that supports the district and practitioners’ assessment of students’ progression from grades 7-12 in the following areas:
The dashboard serves as a check and balance for the district and practitioners to ensure that student data is documented and reported accurately. Real-time data is available through individual indicators that can be disaggregated by subgroups and/or grade level(s) to assess the students’ progress. The access to data that can be further disaggregated helps inform districts and practitioners of trends that need to be addressed to increase equity and access for all students.
The A-G Manual Match Tool helps identify what course offerings are not granted “A-G” credit and transcript abbreviations or course titles that reflect incorrectly on the master schedule or students’ transcripts. The identification of mismatched information allows districts to identify and document practices hindering students’ postsecondary readiness and options.
The FAFSA Monitoring tool provides the district and school site(s) a summary of FAFSA completion for 12th-grade students. Practitioners can assess FAFSA submission, submission with errors, and incomplete submissions where student support is needed. In partnership with the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) , the tool can import student data that helps practitioners identify the students in need of support to meet the FAFSA and income verification deadline(s).
The Institution of Higher Education (IHE) Dashboard generates student profiles based on their postsecondary readiness for K-12 practitioners’ quick assessment. Students’ postsecondary goals are entered in the database: application, admission, and enrollment.
The dashboard triggers alerts on the matriculation steps students’ have not completed to enroll at their select postsecondary institution. This information is used by practitioners to prioritize the students who require immediate attention to support their seamless transition to and enrollment at a postsecondary institution.
The dashboard can store qualitative data collected through student surveys on postsecondary preparation, intent, and required supports and services to reach career goals.
The Early Identification and Intervention System (EIIS) tool is designed to serve as an early warning system that helps administrators and practitioners identify at-risk students triggering a call to action.
The EIIS tool provides practitioners with the profiles of students who are social-emotionally and academically at- risk in real-time. This information triggers the implementation of a District’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Framework.