College/Career Persistence: Increasing opportunities

Why Is It Important?

Postsecondary education attainment secures employment opportunities for our students. Students who receive some sort of postsecondary credential are more likely to be employed and advance in a career. Increasing the number of postsecondary credentials in our community delivers a stronger local economy, greater individual earning power and better quality of life.

Students who drop out of Cincinnati State often leave with debt, self-recrimination and an aversion to hearing from the community and technical college.

“Cincinnati State has difficulty reaching stopped out students,” Humanities and Sciences Dean Geoffrey Woolf said. “When they see an email, they assume it’s about collection,” he said.

But Cincinnati State and post-secondary institutions throughout Ohio would rather draw former students back into the classroom. A degree or credential boosts the stopped-out students’ earnings and job satisfaction prospects as well as fulfilling the institutions’ mission.

That’s why Woolf happily taps into StrivePartnership’s community outreach network to reach the “stopped out” students and work out a plan to get them back in school.

“Strive is working in different pockets of the community than we are,” he said. “The fact that they’re working from the cradle means they have access to broader family data so that we can attack this not just on the individual student level but target communities where there are already effective programs in place.”

The collaboration is part of a broader StrivePartnership-led effort to facilitate a coalition of schools, mayors, administrators, funders and businesses to pool expertise and resources to draw students back to college and on the way to a degree or credential. Sinclair and Stark State colleges have also joined the coalition.

They aim to adjust state policy to make it easier to succeed, including removing financial aid barriers such as one institution withholding transcripts from a community college as leverage to be repaid. “There has to be a way we can work collegially,” Woolf said.

A toolkit with consistent messaging is assembled to recruit more stakeholders, and a training session is scheduled in February as part of the statewide Mayoral Summit on the Attainment Goal.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Covington, Kentucky

Newport, Kentucky

 All data as of December 17, 2018