Nearly two-thirds of Tulare County grads enroll in college
Three quarters of Visalia Unified’s high school graduates enroll in college; only half at Alpaugh Unified
By Reggie Ellis
TULARE COUNTY — Nearly two-thirds of Tulare County students enroll in college after graduating from high school. That’s just four points below the statewide average of 65.8%.
The numbers are part of a new report called the college-going rate (CGR) of California high school students. Released earlier this month, the first-of-its-kind report provides detailed information on California students that enroll in college after completing a public high school. The data shows college enrollment broken down by student group and postsecondary institutions at the state, county, district, and school levels.
Exeter Unified faired the best in districts with a single-high school with more than two-thirds (68.3%) of its graduates enrolled in college. Right behind Exeter Unified was Woodlake Unified, where 67.1% of graduates enrolled in college.
Seven in 10 Visalia Unified grads enroll in college, the highest rate in Tulare County. More than three-quarters of Redwood High School graduates are college bound, the highest for the district, and two-thirds of Mt. Whitney grads, the lowest of the four district high schools. In Tulare, nearly three-quarters of Mission Oak High School graduates enrolled in college, 7 in 10 Tulare Union graduates and two-thirds of Tulare Western grads are college bound.
Alpaugh Unified had the lowest rate at 50% but also had the smallest sample size with just 18 graduates from Alpaugh High School in 2017-18. All nine of the graduates enrolled in postsecondary education will be attending a community college in California. Only half of Porterville Unified graduates enrolled in college that year. Monache topped the list at 56.5% while Strathmore came in at the bottom with 43.1%.
According to the CGR report, in 2017–18, there were 439,211 California public high school students who completed high school, of which 282,740 enrolled in college within 12 months of completing high school for a college-going rate of 65.8 percent. Of the high school completers in 2017–18, students identified as Asian had a college-going rate of 83.9 percent, followed by white at 70.4 percent, African American at 59.7 percent, Pacific Islander at 58.7 percent and Hispanic/Latino at 57.6 percent. Students who identified as two or more races showed a college-going rate of 69.5 percent.
Of graduates enrolled in college, Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified had the highest rate of enrollment at University of California campuses at 8.4% and California State University campuses at 28.6%; followed by Lindsay Unified at 7.9% and 31.8% respectively. Visalia Unified had the highest rate of enrollment at private universities at 3.3% followed closely by Exeter at 3.1%.
The report shows the importance of community colleges for students statewide. In 2017–18, more than 35% of all California high school completers enrolled at a community college, while approximately 12% enrolled at a CSU campus from high school and approximately 7% enrolled at a UC campus. Just under half (47.2%) of Tulare County grads enrolled in community college. Visalia Unified had the highest number of enrollees attend community college (54.9%) followed by Woodlake Unified (50.6%) and Dinuba Unified (49.6%).
Only about 2% of Tulare County grads enroll in out-of-state colleges compared with just under 7% statewide. Of Tulare County graduates enrolled in college, just over 3% attend out-of-state universities and colleges. Exeter Unified had twice the rate of out-of-state enrollment at 6.2% followed by Tulare Joint Union and Visalia Unified at 4.3% and 4.2% respectively.
The CGR is available on the California Department of Education’s DataQuest site and includes downloadable files for the 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, and 2017–18 academic years.
“I am pleased that we are able to provide this information for the first time, and that it gives us a great metric to show the progress our students are making as they advance to college and career,” Thurmond said. “This data is especially helpful for districts and schools, who can evaluate their programs to increase college-readiness and work towards closing the achievement gap as we address major issues such as college affordability, improved reading levels, reduced absenteeism, and increased access to STEAM and computer science programs.”
The new CGR report was made possible thanks to a collaboration between the CDE, the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). The CSAC contributed a one-time funding allocation of $200,000 for the purchase of National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) data used in the CGR reports.
UC Davis, as part of a five-year research partnership with the CDE, has released the first of several reports using the NSC data. The report is published by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and is entitled “Where California High School Students Attend College.”