METS Outcomes – The impact of METS students on their school’s enrollment

Previously, we looked at postsecondary enrollment rates of METS students when compared to their peers in their schools. This time around, we’re going to look at the impact METS students are having on their school’s enrollment rates.

One of the long term goals of METS is to work with schools to create college going cultures in the school. Research has shown in schools where postsecondary enrollment is the expected outcome, students are much more likely to enroll in college after high school. More simply, if a student sees their neighbor go to college and become an engineer, they are much more likely to believe that is a possibility for them. If they mostly see their peers dropout of high school, or not go on to further education, than that is the likely outcome they will see for themselves. 

Unfortunately, that is a hard outcome to track with data, but it is one that METS will be attempting to monitor as we go forward. One way to start to track it, is to monitor the percentage of impact METS has on the enrollment rates within Target Schools.

Table 1: METS impact on enrollment rates within target schools. 

 % of school seniors enrolled % of school’s PSE enrollments who were METS Students METS Enrollment % School Enrollment % Economically Disadvantaged %
School A 5.8% 10% 100.0% 59.6% 57.7%
School B 14.4% 23% 100.0% 63.5% 40.4%
School C 8.4% 16% 85.7% 45.8% 30.4%
School D 17.8% 32% 95.2% 52.5% 38.6%
School E 28.6% 44% 85.7% 55.1% 57.1%
School F 18.8% 25% 82.2% 60.8% 52.0%
School G 25.8% 53% 100.0% 48.4% 54.2%
School H 29.5% 48% 77.8% 47.5% 39.0%
School I 21.7% 42% 100.0% 52.2% 42.9%
METS Total 17.9% 28% 88.2% 56.0% 45.9%

Source: Maine Educational Talent Search Annual Performance Report, 2014; and National Student Clearinghouse StudentTracker for High Schools Demographics Report; 2015.

Percent of school seniors enrolled
As you can see, METS works with a varying percentage of seniors within target schools, roughly between 6 and 30%. Part of the reason for this is school size, where schools with smaller overall populations METS has a larger percentage of impact on each cohort.There is also a varying length of time that METS has served their target schools. As an early intervention program, METS recruits most heavily in the 6th grade when starting a new school. Ideally, by the time METS has served schools for several years, the size of each grade cohort will be roughly the same.

Percent of school’s postsecondary enrollments who were METS students
Here the impact of METS is a little easier to see. In some schools, METS enrollments were as much as half of the overall postsecondary enrollments in target schools. Overall, 28% of the enrollments from target schools were METS students. When compared with the 18% of the senior classes that METS is working with, it would seem that METS is having a significantly positive impact on the college going rates of their target schools. 

More study needed
In order to further evaluate the impact METS is having on their Target School’s college going culture, more study is definitely needed. Hopefully, the state of Maine continues to put out the StudentTracker reports that make this level of analysis possible.

Next up in our series on METS Outcomes is a study of METS student postsecondary attainment rates and trends

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