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Secondary to Postsecondary Transitions for Youth in San Francisco Unified School District

Oded Gurantz
Publication Date: 
September, 2010

The goals of the San Francisco Bridge to Success partnership were to create shared ownership of the responsibility for postsecondary attainment and to build a coordinated strategy to define changes needed to make a real difference in the lives of youth.  To help achieve these goals, the Gardner Center was asked to investigate: 1) How many San Francisco Unified School District 9th grade students graduated from high school, attended a postsecondary institution, and received a postsecondary credential; and 2) Where can the partnership implement programmatic or policy changes that could improve postsecondary educational attainment for San Francisco youth. By following a cohort of first-time 9th grade students and linking data from SFUSD, City College of San Francisco, and the National Student Clearinghouse, researchers found that 63% graduated from SFUSD within four years; 78% of SFUSD graduates attended a postsecondary institution the following year, and 54% of postsecondary attendees earned a credential from a two- or four-year institution within five years.  In sum, these findings indicate that slightly more than one in four SFUSD 9th grade students (27%) earned a postsecondary credential by the approximate age of 23. Findings suggest that by including a wide variety of youth-service providers in the partnership, San Francisco can begin to develop a comprehensive, city-wide approach to youth success.  

Bay Area
Policy area: 
College, Career, and Civic Readiness