Eagles on Track with Board Goal

DeSoto ISD makes gains in four-year college graduation rates
Posted on 03/22/2022
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The DeSoto High School Classes of 2014 to 2017 have recorded a four-year college graduation rate increase of 3.4 percentage points, in alignment with the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees’ number one goal of future readiness.

According to the December 2021 annual report received from the National Student Clearinghouse®, a nonprofit and nongovernmental entity for educational reporting that tracks high school graduates for a number of years after graduation, there’s a marked increase in the percentage of DeSoto ISD students who graduate with either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree within four years after graduation from DeSoto High School.

The Board of Trustees voted in August 2019 on four goals which guide their decisions, with future readiness of seeing an increase in the percentage of high school students who graduate college, career and/or military readiness go from 53% to 69% by May 2024 as the number one goal.

The number of college students who graduate in four years has been on the decline. Many education data sourcing agencies now regard six-year graduation rates in their reporting of successful graduate outcomes.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse® 2021 High School Benchmarks Report released Dec. 1, 2021, 38% of students from urban schools completed a degree within six years of graduation, compared to 42% from rural schools and 48 % from suburban schools.

While many students enter college with a four-year plan, changing majors, a need to repeat classes, personal breaks for a variety of reasons and more alter that plan.

Seeing an increase from 13.7% to 17.1% in four-year college graduation rates by DeSoto High School students over the past four years, and during COVID-19 pandemic times, is worth celebrating.

While the District may provide tools for students to succeed beyond high school, College, Career and Military Readiness Director Robin Ford feels a heightened level of self sufficiency and awareness is necessary once they arrive on campus.

“One thing we continue to do is prepare them for college; the rubber meets the road when they actually get there,” Ford said. “We provide the tools for them and it’s important that they know how to handle situations and push through and be able to ask for help when they need it.”

DeSoto ISD Chief Academic Officer Dr. Mya Asberry sees the increase in four-year college graduation metrics as a result of the opportunities DeSoto ISD provides.

“That is very exciting data I think we could attribute to our increase in dual credit classes, CTE classes and in students that are enrolled in the Early College high school who are getting some college experience,” Asberry said. “We are very hopeful that we are doing a great job preparing our students for the college-ready lifestyle with their study habits and just their overall academic exposure to prepare them for college.”

Ford applauds the success of those who complete their studies in less than average time and said “school districts really have to get into postsecondary success,” which includes building disciplinary stamina for students to see it through.

“It’s no longer college-ready, it’s college-graduate,” Ford said. “We pride ourselves on them having the right tools once they get there, which leads to their success. It’s the relationships beyond graduation. Can you survive and be disciplined for four years and get the job done?”

In recognizing DeSoto ISD students not only graduate from high school, they graduate from college and impact the world; the District Communications department is launching the From College Bound to College Graduate - CB2CG initiative to celebrate alumni college graduation achievements and share stories of how DeSoto ISD prepares students for success.

DeSoto High School seniors are also encouraged to participate by including hashtags #DeSotoCB2CG and #CB2CG in announcing their college decisions as a commitment to seeing their collegiate experience all the way through. The ultimate goal is to encourage students to go From College Bound to College Graduate.

CB2CG messages will be coming soon to showcase DeSoto High School Eagles who’ve accomplished their post-secondary goals in four years!