Student College Readiness Shows Steady Improvement
A college education is important for many jobs and can lead to increased earning power, better health, a stronger workforce, and societal benefits. On average, earnings rise in step with education levels, resulting in benefits to the individual through increased personal income and discretionary spending, and to the community through increased tax receipts. Voter participation is associated with higher levels of education, as is participation in exercise, volunteerism and activities that support the community. A college education supplies students with the varied skills needed to boost the local economy, be prepared to compete in the global economy, and have a solid foundation for future academic and career pursuits.1 Progress towards increased college preparedness is measured by the number of public high school graduates who have fulfilled minimum course requirements to be eligible for admission to University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses. Also measured are the number of students meeting SAT benchmarks, and 11th grade performance on English language arts and math assessments.2
How is San Bernardino County Doing?
The UC/CSU eligibility rate continues to improve, reaching the highest level in over 20 years of tracking:
- 38% of San Bernardino County seniors graduating in 2016/17 did so having completed the necessary coursework to be eligible for a UC or CSU campus.
- This rate of UC/CSU eligibility is 18 percentage points higher than 10 years ago.
- San Bernardino County’s rate of eligibility is lower than the statewide average of 47%; however, over the past 10 years, the gap is generally narrowing, despite annual fluctuations.
- All racial and ethnic groups have more eligible students than 10 years ago, despite annual variability.
- The percent of White students eligible for a UC or CSU campus dipped slightly over the past year, from 42% to 41%, while the percent of eligible Native American students experienced a steeper annual drop, from 35% in 2015/16 to 24% in 2016/17.
- The remaining race and ethnic groups witnessed improved eligibility rates over the previous year.
- 96% of San Bernardino County juniors took the literacy assessment and 95% took the math assessment.
- In English, 21% of San Bernardino County students were deemed college ready and 31% were conditionally ready (i.e. the student can take identified coursework in their senior year of high school that, following completion, will deem them college ready). Statewide, 26% of students were college ready in English and 30% were conditionally ready.
- In math, 8% of San Bernardino County students were deemed college ready and 17% were conditionally ready. Statewide, 13% of students were college ready in math and 18% were conditionally ready.
In 2016/17, more students met SAT English Language Arts (ELA) benchmarks than SAT math benchmarks:
- 69% of San Bernardino County students met the SAT ELA benchmark and 44% met the SAT math benchmark.
- The proportions of San Bernardino County students meeting the benchmarks exceeded rates in Los Angeles and Riverside counties, but were less than benchmark rates in Orange and San Diego counties.
- San Bernardino County benchmark rates were lower than the statewide average for both ELA (72%) and Math (51%).
- School districts in San Bernardino County showed less variability in terms of average SAT benchmark performance than all other Southern California counties compared, some of which experience vast differentials in scores among districts.
The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college readiness system has a mission to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.
Since the California budget eliminated AVID funding in 2012/13, San Bernardino County, along with Riverside, Inyo and Mono counties (the RIMS region), has funded the program locally to keep it thriving and growing in the region. In an effort to plant the seed for college aspirations early, the AVID college readiness system is increasing dramatically at the elementary levels across the region.
2017/18 AVID Snapshot
Of the 2,653 AVID seniors graduating in 2018, 99.8% graduated from high school and 95.7% successfully completed A-G course requirements (courses that count toward eligibility for CSU/UC schools). In addition, 84.1% were accepted to a four-year college or university, and 94.9% planned to attend a two- or four-year college for 2018/19.