YUHSD: A look at graduation statistics
The Helios Education Foundation recently awarded the Yuma Union High School District a $3.9 million grant for the Ready Now Yuma program, with the goal of having every graduate prepared to succeed in a college or a career. This series will look at the funding, how it will be used, and what the implications are for YUHSD. Today's story looks at YUHSD students and Yuma County residents by the numbers.
Although students within the Yuma Union High School District are graduating at a higher rate than the state average, studies show that almost 60 percent of students in Arizona require remediation upon entry into college, an increase of 20 percent from the nationwide statistic.
The Helios Education Foundation entered into a five-year partnership with YUHSD in June and awarded a $3.9 million grant to help advance the district's recent implementation of its Ready Now Yuma program. Superintendent Toni Badone said that through the program, YUHSD's mission is for every student to graduate and succeed in a college or a career without remediation as well as to also increase the number of students entering and succeeding in college and careers.
When looking at district graduation rates, the Arizona Department of Education reported that 78.9 percent of Arizona students graduate from high school within five years, while 85.3 percent of YUHSD students graduate from high school within five years. When looking at economically disadvantaged students, 85 percent graduate from YUHSD within five years compared to 74.5 percent of students in Arizona.
According to the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census, the poverty rate among Arizona Hispanics has been more than twice that of non-Hispanics over the past two decades. In 2010, 46 percent of Arizonans living below the federal poverty level of $23,050 for a family of four were Latino.
“Yuma County and YUHSD truly reflect the future of Arizona in terms of majority-minority,” said Nicole Magnuson, a spokesperson for the Helios Education Foundation. “The Latino achievement gap is of concern to the state overall and presents an enormous opportunity for Yuma to ensure its Latino-dominate population (of students) graduate prepared to succeed in college and career... once again leading the state. YUHSD students are graduating at a higher rate than the state average, including Latino and economically disadvantaged students.”
According to data from the National Student Clearinghouse, 67 percent of students that graduated from YUHSD schools in 2010 enrolled in college within the first year after high school. Badone added that people should keep in mind that those numbers are not entirely accurate because a small percentage of colleges and universities do not submit their enrollment and graduation data to the National Student Clearinghouse, such as Pima Community College, for example, where a number of YUHSD students attend after high school.
A nationwide survey found that many students felt that college is worth the time and money. However, more than half reported that their college courses were more difficult than they expected, and four of 10 students entering college needed remedial classes. The number becomes higher for African-American and Latino students.
According to the National Endowment for the Arts, just over one-third of high school seniors are proficient readers, and 38 percent of employers say that high school graduates are deficient in their reading comprehension skills.
The current reality is that only 75 percent of high school freshmen nationally graduate with a diploma in four years, and only nine of every 100 ninth-graders in Arizona will complete their bachelor's degree in six years.
Yet, 62 percent of jobs will require college education by 2018; more than half will require at least a bachelor's degree, report several sources.
Magnuson said that according to information provided by the Lumina Foundation , 900,000 additional career certificates and college degrees will be necessary for workforce demands in by 2025.
The goal with Ready Now Yuma is to have graduates who are ready for postsecondary education, without any need for remediation courses.
“Students who require remediation are less likely to complete their postsecondary program, which reduces the number of people with degrees, certificates and licenses,” she concluded.
Of the 200,870 people in Yuma County, according to the U.S. Census, 13.3 percent of Yuma County residents, age 25 or older, hold a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 26.3 percent of Arizonans.
Badone explained that by implementing Ready Now Yuma, students will be prepared for whatever path they choose to follow whether that be to pursue an associate's degree, bachelor's degree, career certificate or license.
She said that this will increase the number of innovative entrepreneurs, highly educated professionals and skilled workers in Yuma for the future.
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer. Joyce Lobeck contributed to this report.
Yuma County Demographic Background (U.S. Census)
• 200,870 population
• 60.1 percent of population is Hispanic, compared to 30.1 percent in Arizona
• 34.6 percent of population is white, compared to 57.4 percent in Arizona
• 20.9 percent of population lives below the federal poverty line, compared to 15.3 percent in Arizona
• 71.6 percent of Yuma County residents, age 25 or older, graduated from high school compared to 85 percent of Arizonans
• 13.3 percent of Yuma County residents, age 25 or older, hold a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 26.3 percent of Arizonans
Yuma Union High School District County
• Nearly 11,000 students at five comprehensive and one alternative high school
• 79 percent minority
• 6.6 percent English Language Learners
• 68 percent of YUHSD students are eligible for free/reduced lunch program
High School Graduation/Remediation
• 78.9 percent of Arizona students graduate from high school within five years (Arizona Department of Education)
• 85.3 percent of YUHSD students graduate from high school within five years (Arizona Department of Education)
• 84.4 percent of Hispanic students in YUHSD graduate within five years compared to 72.7 percent of Hispanic students in Arizona (Arizona Department of Education)
• 85 percent of economically disadvantaged students in YUHSD graduate within five years compared to 74.5 percent of economically disadvantaged students in Arizona
• 59.3 percent of Arizona students who enter a 2-year college program require remediation (Complete College America)
• 30 percent - 40 percent of Latino graduates qualify to enroll in Arizona's public Universities compared to 60 percent of White graduates (Dropped Report by ASU's Morrison Institute)
Postsecondary Entry and Completion (National Student Clearinghouse)
• 67 percent of YUHSD students enter college within two years after high school, the majority enter 2-year public institutions.
• 74 percent of students stay in college after their first year
• 4-year institutions have a higher retention rate than 2-year institutions for YUHSD students, 85 percent and 71 percent respectively
• The longer students stay in college, the less likely they are to complete a degree.
• Of those who earn a degree, the majority take 5 years to complete
• The majority of students go to Arizona Western College, Arizona State University and University of Arizona.
• Nearly 876,000 Arizona adults, ages 25-64, have some college, but no degree (Lumina – A Stronger Nation)
• In 2010, out of 23,487 bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees awarded by Arizona three state universities, 13 percent were to Latinos and 75 percent were to whites. (Dropped Report by ASU's Morrison Institute)