The overall four-year graduation rate in District of Columbia
Public Schools is 58.3%—one of the lowest in
the nation. Of those students who do graduate,
a significant percentage either don’t attend
college at all or drop out before graduation.
Leveraging their expertise in student success, members of a pro bono team from EAB set out to identify the challenges facing Washington, D.C., students and deliver a tool that could help students, parents, and school administrators better understand barriers to success in higher education.
“What has me most excited about these efforts is how they connect
to the broader work we do in EAB to support our members. We
often speak of how we put students at the center—your work on this
initiative has really brought that to life.”
–Robert Musslewhite, Chief Executive Officer
Putting education expertise to work
After a year of research, the EAB team helped District leaders create My College FactFinder (MCFF), an online application that shows how District students have fared at colleges
and universities across the country, and provides data on SAT/ACT ranges for enrolled
students, graduation rates, and transfer behavior.
As EAB senior analyst Ben McGuire explains, “My College Fact Finder provides
students with the type of relevant,
local information that we hope
will let them make a thoughtful,
informed decision and select a
school that really meets their needs.”
Making a citywide impact
In April 2015, the MCFF team presented the tool to more
than 200 educators and policymakers. It was met with
tremendous excitement, with attendees noting it could
be a "game changer" for propelling scaled student
success in higher education. By June, Mayor Muriel
Bowser implemented the tool citywide—doing so within
the first 100 days of her administration.
Community Impact initiatives offer Advisory Board employees the opportunity to take on new responsibilities and learn new skills, but the chance to make a difference in the local community is the real reward. "It was really humbling to see the impact this work will have on the lives of Washington, D.C., students. If they are able to make a more informed college choice and end up at a school that better meets their needs, it could give them better career prospects and more economic security” says Erin McDougal, a consultant with EAB.
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