Kingsborough Community College Opening Doors Learning Communities Highlighted in Nat'l Publication
Thursday, December 10, 2009
New York, December 10 -- The American
Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a Washington DC-based nonprofit, nonpartisan
professional development organization, recently released Success
at Every Step: How 23 Programs Support Youth on the Path to College and Beyond.
identifies programs that have been proven to help young people successfully
complete high school and be prepared for success in postsecondary education and
careers, based on the results of recent, high-quality evaluations. Kingsborough
Community College (KCC) Opening Doors Learning Communities was identified as
one of 23 effective programs that address the critical imperative to improve
the college- and career-preparation of all youth.
Obtaining a high school diploma is no longer sufficient for young people
who hope to land a job that pays a family-sustaining wage in today’s economy.
Without some type of education beyond high school, most young adults will find
themselves out in the cold in the current labor market. Yet far too many youth
never even earn a high school diploma; graduation rates hover at approximately
50 percent for African American, Latino, and Native American youth. Low-income
students and those whose parents never attended college remain substantially
less likely to enroll in postsecondary education. Many youth also lack the
critical skills needed by employers in high-growth industries.
The programs in this publication address this crisis by increasing the
number of young people who graduate from high school ready to succeed in
college and employment. The vast majority of programs (20 out of 23) improved
students’ academic outcomes at the middle and high school levels, and10
programs were associated with increased enrollment and success in college.
The Opening Doors Learning Communities at KCC improved participants’
course passing rate, average number of credits earned and GPAs during the
program semester. Participants passed more quickly through developmental
English requirements. Program participants reported higher levels of engagement
and integration, and were more satisfied with their overall college experience.
Youth need a continuum of supports to develop the knowledge, skills, abilities,
and personal resources necessary for success at each level of the educational
and developmental pipeline. Programs like Opening Doors Learning Communities
play an important role in ensuring that more students reach the long-term goals
of career success, civic engagement, and the capacity for lifelong learning.
Learning Communities have demonstrated that the barriers to student
success are complicated and too numerous to be wholly addressed by one or two
best practices alone. Kingsborough’s learning communities programs are emerging
as a comprehensive institutional effort that addresses all barriers: academic,
economic social and personal.
The report is available at: http://www.aypf.org/publications.