Last October we launched the All In! Coalition, a partnership between several public and nonprofit organizations designed to address Hartford’s talent needs by increasing high school graduation, post-secondary enrollment, and post-secondary completion.

Martin Estey, Executive Director of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education and a member of the All In! Steering Committee, has taken the lead on the College Supports Network (CSN).

This summer, the CSN is hard at work driving the All In! Coalition’s Summer Melt Action Team, which has brought together high school counselors and college admissions staff to identify recent high school graduates who have already been accepted to college, but remain at risk of not enrolling. The students are then engaged by near-peer outreach specialists—current college students who have been hired and trained for the task by the Consortium—to ensure the graduates can and do in fact enroll, with a goal of increasing college enrollment rates among Hartford high school graduates.

Meanwhile, progress is finally being made on another action team related to longitudinal data analysis looking at the post-secondary success of Hartford graduates.

Back in April, the Hartford Public Schools (HPS) and Lincoln Financial Group signed an agreement—effective for two years, starting May 1—that has the potential to seriously improve the way data is used in shaping policy and practice in Hartford education.

Under this agreement, the district will be sharing seven years’ worth of unidentifiable student-level data with data scientists at Lincoln Financial, who will be conducting a rigorous analysis. From this analysis, they will produce a data dashboard and a predictive model over the next three months that will allow us to look at the correlation between factors such as geography, socio-economic status, high school of origin, GPA, and SAT scores and post-secondary completion.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Lincoln Financial Group and the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education,” says Kate England, Chief of Academics, Teaching and Learning, and Student Supports at HPS. “This collaboration will allow the Hartford Public Schools to use predictive analytics to identify attributes and experiences of successful college-going high school graduates, better ensuring their persistence at the post-secondary level.”

But HPS is not the only organization that will benefit from that information. While the data scientists complete their work, the All In! Coalition will be convening stakeholders to determine how best to communicate the results of this project to other decision-makers who need it – such as college prep programs serving Hartford youth.

Bottom Line

The potential impact of a predictive model on decision-making is difficult to overstate. It will create a situation where both service providers and funders will have access to clear and rigorous analysis on which factors are the largest predictors of student post-secondary success. The entire city is going to be presented with a unique opportunity to use this model to drive priorities in their funding and programming decisions.  We will have more on the findings in the fall.