Monday, October 18, 2021
SDSU/ACAC Partnership, Funded by The Kresge Foundation, Addresses High School Seniors Bypassing College
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - San Diego State University Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment (CEPA) and ACT’s American College Application Campaign (ACAC) are proud to announce a partnership through the COVID-19 Enrollment and Persistence Strategy Grant, funded by The Kresge Foundation.
The COVID-19 Enrollment and Persistence Strategy Grant aims to address the troubling issue that direct high school to college enrollment for fall 2020 — the first post-pandemic incoming class — dropped by 6.8 percent, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. In addition, the research shows that schools with high numbers of minority students are experiencing a drop of 11.4 percent. Students from the class of 2021 also completed fewer Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Common Applications.
ACAC and CEPA aim to create a K-12/Higher Education bridge focused on better understanding
advising and counseling practices that best support recent high school graduates as
they navigate the postsecondary pipeline and matriculate to college.
“This ACAC/CEPA partnership creates a unique opportunity to address both school counseling and college advising practices that are responsive to a quickly changing cradle to career pipeline” reported Laura Owen, executive director, Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment.
Specifically, ACAC is supporting the development of student guidance and practitioner tools to combat COVID-19 melt, which refers to the significant number of high school seniors intending to enroll in college, but who do not show up to campus the semester following high school graduation. ACAC will be distributing resources, training materials, and curriculum across its network.
ACAC is a national initiative of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning designed to increase the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income backgrounds who pursue a postsecondary degree. The purpose is to assist high school seniors as they navigate the college application and admissions process and ensure each participating student submits at least one admissions application.
Lisa King, director, ACAC, said, “We’re grateful to The Kresge Foundation for supporting this important initiative. We know higher education will determine the future of our nation. Often, income inequities are driven by a lack of access to college. College graduates are half as likely to be unemployed as those with only a high school diploma, and they are also more likely to vote and be leaders in their communities. That’s why this work is so critically important.”
The grant funding allows for ACAC to bring on two additional team members to contribute to this work: Chantelle George, ACAC outreach manager; and Brittani Williams, ACAC research fellow, who will serve as key members of the team working on the project.
For more information about the COVID-19 Enrollment and Persistence Grant, visit https://education.sdsu.edu/cepa.
About SDSU Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment
Led by Dr. Laura Owen, San Diego State University and Dr. Diana Camilo, CSU San Bernardino, the Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment aims to improve equitable student postsecondary opportunity, particularly through the study of counseling and advising systems and processes that elevate the diverse student and parent voices of vulnerable communities. Its goals include ensuring all students have access to a high-quality antiracist school counselor to guide and support them on their postsecondary paths, and ensuring that all school-based systems, policies, and practices promote equitable postsecondary opportunities.
About ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning
ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning focuses on closing gaps in equity, opportunity, and achievement for underserved populations and working learners. Through purposeful investments, employee engagement, and thoughtful advocacy efforts, the Center supports innovative partnerships, actionable research, initiatives, campaigns, and programs to further ACT’s mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success. http://equityinlearning.act.org
About the American College Application Campaign
The American College Application Campaign (ACAC) is a national initiative designed to increase the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income families who pursue a postsecondary degree. The purpose is to assist high school seniors as they navigate the college application and admissions process and ensure each participating student submits at least one admissions application. https://equityinlearning.act.org/acac
SDSU Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment Media Contact:
Marketing and Communications Officer
College of Education
San Diego State University
ACT Center for Equity in Learning Media Contact: