This article was provided by the San Benito High School District.
Nearly two-thirds of San Benito High School graduates enroll in college during the fall immediately after graduation, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse (see attached report). Of those college-bound students, approximately one-third enroll in a four-year school, while the remainder join a two-year program such as a community college.
Looking at the entire first year after high school, nearly three out of four recent SBHS grads enrolled in college, according to the data. Two years after high school, close to 80 percent of Baler grads enroll in college, according to the data.
“As a high school, we recognize that post-secondary education is essential to the success of our students, but that post-secondary education looks different for every student,” whether they are seeking industry or safety certifications, an associate of arts degree or a bachelor’s degree, said Assistant Principal Claire Grissom, who oversees counseling and scheduling at the high school.
According to the Clearinghouse data, 65 percent (407 of the 622 Class of 2017 graduates) enrolled in college this fall, compared with 71 percent in the fall of 2016 and 66 percent the year before. The percentage of graduates enrolling in four-year schools during that time period ranged between 33 percent and 39 percent, with the remaining two-thirds of SBHS alumni choosing the two-year path.
A vast majority — 93 percent in each of the past three years — of San Benito High School students attending college enrolled in California colleges, with the remainder going out of state. Gavilan College is the most common institution of enrollment for SBHS grads, followed by Monterey Peninsula College and Cabrillo College. The most common four-year schools in which Baler grads have enrolled in recent years are California State University, Monterey Bay, San Jose State University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Other schools in which Baler grads enrolled included various University of California campuses (Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Davis, Irvine and Los Angeles) along with schools in the California State University system (including Chico, Fresno, Sacramento, San Francisco and Stanislaus).
Looking at the Class of 2015 specifically, in which 73 percent of the 625 graduates enrolled in college, 62 percent returned to a second year of college. Those numbers are not yet available for the Class of 2016. San Benito High School officials plan to continue to track the college-going rate, including college completion rates, in the coming years.
“In order to meet the needs of all students, not only those eager to attend a university, we also have a CTE (Career Technical Education) pathway option which will allow students to obtain career-ready skills, industry exposure and connections to jobs and careers without attending a university,” Grissom said. “We also encourage students to remain on the a-g (college-bound) track but also complete a CTE pathway which would be the truest embodiment of our mission statement to ‘educate all students to their highest potential so they will have the greatest range of options upon graduation.’”
Impact of AVID
Grissom noted that the high school’s expansion of its AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program to seniors in 2018-19 will add to the current 12 sections now available to freshmen, sophomores and juniors. The program’s goal is to close the opportunity gap by getting all students college-ready.
“The program’s philosophy is to hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge,” Grissom said. “I would expect, as we complete the AVID program by expanding it to all grades, not only will the number of students who apply and are accepted to universities increase, but the retention and graduation rates of SBHS students from universities will also increase.”
Although Grissom said it will take “several years” for this data to come to fruition, the goal is to promote long-term success and various options beyond high school.
“This would be equivalent to the idea that each student is prepared to be a lifelong learner who is a problem-solver and is able to work well either in a group or on their own,” she said. “With these attributes, our students will be well-prepared for any direction they may choose to go.”
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