Helping Washoe County School District Examine Students' Progress Toward College

Primary Researchers: Andrea Lash, Min Huang, Loan Tran

In Washoe County School District, Nevada’s second largest district, approximately 70 percent of high school graduates attend college. Most (58 percent) attend locally, enrolling at approximately equal rates at the University of Nevada, Reno and at Truckee Meadows Community College (Education Alliance of Washoe County 2009). Of district students who graduated in the classes of 2005 through 2009, 46 percent who attended University of Nevada, Reno and 89 percent who attended Truckee Meadows Community College required remediation in mathematics, in English, or in both subjects (Education Alliance of Washoe County 2009).

Washoe County School District leadership holds interest in better understanding how to assess, at different points along the K–12 pathway, a district student’s progress toward the goal of being ready for college-level coursework upon high school graduation. They asked REL West for assistance in examining their longitudinal data bases to evaluate whether the state-administered achievement tests, which assess students against grade-level standards, provide useful information about a student’s likelihood of being prepared for college upon graduation. They requested assistance in addressing the following questions: Does the percentage of students who are eligible to enroll in UNR college-level courses differ depending on students’ proficiency levels in grade 8 or grade 10? Specifically, is the percentage of students who would be eligible for credit-bearing, college-level courses different for students that meet grade-level standards as compared with those that exceed grade-level standards?

  • Contact info:
    Andrea Lash (415) 615-3103

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