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Central Texas Student Futures Project

Grant Award

Principal Investigator - Christopher T. King
Sponsor - Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, TG, Texas Education Agency, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Research Partner Subcontract - Skillpoint Alliance
Project Duration - September 2004 - December 2013
Funding Amount - $750,000

The Student Futures Project—formerly known as Creating a Central Texas High School Data Center—is a research partnership of the Ray Marshall Center, Skillpoint Alliance, and a growing number of Central Texas independent school districts (ISDs). The project is documenting and analyzing the progress of Central Texas high school students as they move onto colleges and careers. It relies on a combination of student surveys and linked administrative records to improve feedback and policy and program alignment for Central Texas ISDs in preparing students for the demands of adulthood and for success in the workplace.

The purpose of the Student Futures Project is two-fold:

1) To provide ISDs, postsecondary institutions, and employers with comprehensive, longitudinal research on what high school students are doing after graduation, why they are making these decisions, and how a variety of educational, personal and financial factors are related to their success in higher education and the workforce; and

2) To offer workshops, seminars and applied research on best practices and applied research that will assist ISDs, the Education Service Center and postsecondary institutions to increase the number of regional youth who obtain postsecondary academic and workforce credentials.

Each year the Student Futures Project issues reports on area high school graduates to allow districts and schools to see exactly how their preparation has helped high school students move on to the next phase of their development either in college, training or the workplace. The reports address the following questions, among others:

• Who is and is not going to college and why?
• Who is and is not going to work and why?
• Who is both working and going to college?

These reports will trace each graduating class as they move through work, postsecondary education and training and other options for up to four years after graduation. The focus of these reports is to identify trends and practices that best enable students to capitalize on the opportunities they meet after graduation and to ensure that schools have a process for evaluating how they prepare their students for what lies beyond graduation.

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