Postsecondary credentials matter. As a result, more young people need to enroll in college – and more of those who enroll in college must graduate. Those who do not enroll in college need access to employment and occupational training. Success in this area will require collaboration among institutions of higher education and the Boston Public Schools, among others, in order to support the transition from high school to college, as well as businesses that will need to support these students with college friendly employment.
Collectively, we must focus on getting BPS students ready for college, and colleges ready for Boston graduates.
Why Postsecondary Degrees Matter
Increasingly, a college diploma is the key to opening the doors of economic opportunity. This is especially true in the knowledge-based economy of Greater Boston. Jobs with the highest number of vacancies, including many in the health care field, require certification, two- and four-year degrees. Over the next ten years, more than two-thirds of new jobs will require at least an associate degree. Similarly, jobs projected to have a high rate of growth, such as those in the biosciences and technology fields, will require college degrees and advanced training. Jobs once available to those with high school diplomas have decreased as the state’s economy has shifted from manufacturing to services. Many occupations have increased their hiring standards from a high school degree to a college degree.
The PIC's Response
Since 2009, the PIC has participated in Success Boston – a postsecondary coaching initiative that helps students gain entry to college and remain in school through graduation. Last year, the PIC received a multi-year grant from The Boston Foundation (TBF) via the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF) to double our postsecondary coaching staff from three to six in order to help students transition into community college and persist through to graduation. PIC postsecondary coaches work at Roxbury and Bunker Hill community colleges, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Quincy College, and with students transitioning from community college to UMass Boston. In the first year of the SIF grant, PIC coaches supported 250 low-income, BPS graduates by helping them to enroll, persist, and graduate ready to enter the workforce.
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