Momentum Metrics Innovation Spotlight: Using Data to Drive Seamless Enrollment

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Briana Falduti
Associate

“You cannot tell progress unless you are guided by data… We have data but it is often housed in different locations and not as convenient or accessible to teachers…SCORE is supporting us with a college and career readiness platform for our students so that data is housed in one location and easy to understand by students, parents, teachers, and other stakeholders. Work is in progress with our teams to do a regular review of data to inform decisions around intentional and targeted interventions.” 

—Latonya Jackson, Team Lead, Lauderdale County Schools Momentum Metrics Network team

Building Data Systems in Lauderdale and Tipton County

Tipton County and Lauderdale County Schools are two smaller districts located in west Tennessee. Like many districts, neither Lauderdale nor Tipton had a strong data system in place to track the opportunities students pursued after high school. They tracked some students’ postsecondary matriculation through teachers or counselors doing outreach to graduates, but still didn’t know what happened to a majority of their students after graduating. 

Through the work with their coach as part of the Momentum Metrics Network, both districts sought to understand whether and where their graduates were matriculating after high school graduation. Both districts signed up to receive StudentTracker reports from the National Student Clearinghouse, which provides student-level data on postsecondary progress. The districts are now able to see whether and where students enroll in college, whether students persist and earn a degree, the types of degrees graduates are earning, and how long it takes them to earn a degree.

Once they knew where their graduates were enrolling, both Tipton and Lauderdale wanted to better understand and track their current students’ postsecondary plans. Both districts invested in a college and career readiness platform that will allow them to understand students’ postsecondary intentions and track students’ progress toward graduation and postsecondary enrollment. These platforms allow districts to track postsecondary enrollment and support students in building a college application list and submitting applications. The districts are currently piloting the new data systems this fall, training teachers and counselors on how to use the platforms and understand the data, and developing protocols for regular data review with key staff. Both districts note that regular review of the data is essential for providing more targeted intervention. For example, counselors can pull reports of students who have indicated they want to go to college but have not yet submitted any applications and reach out to those students for additional application support. 

Next fall, the districts will be able to pair their college and career readiness platform data with the National Student Clearinghouse report to determine whether students are pursuing their intended postsecondary plans and follow up with graduates who may not be on their intended path to determine why and help them get back on track. 

Using Data to Drive Action in Clarksville Montgomery County

Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) is the seventh-largest district in Tennessee and graduates over 2,000 students every year. Last year, the CMCSS team focused their efforts on building capacity and creating targeted interventions. First, the district offered a stipend for a college and career readiness coordinator in each high school. Each school’s principal helped identify the coordinator, who ranged from a counselor to the school librarian. The coordinator was tasked with planning and recruiting for college and career events and using data to provide targeted outreach to students. 

For the first time, CMCSS administered a districtwide senior exit survey. The survey results were then used to help students complete the necessary steps for their intended post-graduation plan. The district identified students who indicated they wanted to attend college but had not yet applied; then coordinators worked with postsecondary partners to conduct outreach to those students to help them complete their applications. By the end of the school year, 86% of students had completed at least one college or career application.

The district also used the senior exit survey and historical data to identify students who were most at risk of not matriculating in the fall. The coordinators created personalized invitations for those students, encouraging them to participate in local summer bridge programs. As a result, attendance at local institutions’ summer bridge programs quadrupled.

Moving forward, CMCSS has baseline data for all of its high schools on key college and career readiness indicators such as FAFSA completion, college and career applications, summer bridge participation, and seamless enrollment. These data allow schools to see how their outcomes compare to other schools and build appropriate goals for this school year.