Juneau High School Graduates Show Increased Success at University of Alaska
Over the past five years, Juneau high school graduates have increasingly demonstrated that they are ‘college-ready’ — able to succeed in college-level math and English classes without any developmental classes.
Over the past five years, Juneau high school graduates have increasingly demonstrated that they are ‘college-ready’ — able to succeed in college-level math and English classes without any developmental classes. The number of recent graduates who required developmental math or English classes upon entering the University of Alaska (UA) dropped 30% over the past five years. Developmental classes are those that bring student skills up to the college level. More JSD graduates who attend UA are placing right into college level classes than ever before.
The improvement in students being ‘college-ready’ appears to have come with increased graduation requirements at JSD that first came into effect in 2014-15. Since that time, students have been required to have at least three years of mathematics and four years of English. Prior to that the requirement was only two years of math and three of English. During the same time, JSD raised the standards for what students should be learning at each grade level and adopted a district wide curriculum for both English/Language Arts and Math. Data about improvement in student success were shared at a recent work session between Juneau’s Board of Education and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), prepared and presented by the university’s Institutional Effectiveness Director Kristen Handley and Provost Karen Carey.
Another byproduct of the increased graduation requirements appears to be growth in the number of students receiving the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS). In 2018, 36% of JSD grads who enrolled in the University of Alaska system received the APS, whereas in 2014 only 27% received it. Juneau students’ success in competing for the APS matches the average for other Alaska schools. The APS is based on grade point average, scores on standard testing, and completion of specified high school curriculum.
The data also looked at enrollment of JSD graduates in UAS over time. Those enrollments decreased by 12% in the last ten years, from 89 students to 78. During this same period, UA enrollment from other Alaskan high schools dropped 19%. However, JSD graduates continue to be a prominent part of UAS’ freshman class; fully one-third of all first-time, full-time freshman students entering UAS each fall are from JSD.
Superintendent Bridget Weiss said of the recent work session: “We appreciate the many ways our partnership with UAS manifests itself. This time together gave us the opportunity to look at a variety of topics from dual credit opportunities to evidence of improved preparedness of our JSD graduates who attend UA. We are positioned here in Juneau to work together to create more opportunities for our students—that is a common goal.”
Learn more on Dual Credit opportunities at UAS by visiting the UAS Registrar's Office or call (907) 796-6100.