Study Supports Detroit Promise Path’s Effectiveness in Boosting Student Success

“Providing Detroit high schools students access to college is one part of a solution to ensure student success,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “It is equally important to understand and address the barriers students face in order to help them persist in college.”

The Chamber and Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) released a study conducted by MDRC, a nonprofit education research firm, supporting the effectiveness of the Detroit Promise Path in increasing student success in community college. The Detroit Promise Path was created in 2016 to help Detroit Promise scholarship students navigate various hardships common for first-generation college students from underserved communities.

(From left to right) Detroit Promise Success Coach Ashley Robinson, Detroit Promise student Preston Welborne El, Detroit Promise student Ronnie Foster, and the former Detroit Promise Path Manager Monica Rodriguez discuss the program and results at the Michigan College Promise Symposium last month.

The Detroit Promise Path Alleviates Barriers for Underserved Students
While college access is one part of a solution to ensure student success, it is equally important to understand and address the barriers students face in order to help them prosper and graduate. The Detroit Promise Path uses four strategies to help students stay in college: it requires campus coaching, offers a monthly financial stipend for expenses not covered by financial aid (i.e. transportation, food, books), encourages students to take summer classes, and uses a management information system to track and monitor students.

Detroit As a Leader in College Promise Scholarship Programs 
Since 2005, more than 300 college scholarship programs across the country have been created to help students afford college costs. However, most college promise scholarships focus on getting students to enroll in college, not helping them succeed once they get there.

When the Detroit Promise launched in 2013, the Chamber noticed that only 35% of students stayed enrolled. In 2016, the Detroit Promise Path was created to help students progress and graduate.

“The effects of the Detroit Promise Path on persistence and full-time enrollment in the second semester are among the largest we’ve seen in rigorous tests of higher education interventions,” said Alexander Mayer, deputy director of postsecondary education at MDRC.

Download the Report 
Download the MDRC report, “A Path from Access to Success: Interim Findings from the Detroit Promise Path Evaluation,” read an article in The Detroit News on the findings, and watch a video on the Detroit Promise Path. The Detroit Promise Path and study are funded by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) with additional support from W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Ford Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and The Kresge Foundation.

Results from the MDRC report on the effects of the Detroit Promise Path program to ensure success for community college students.

Detroit Promise Path Boosts Full-Time Enrollment, Persistence, and Credit Accumulation by Detroit Community College Students

The first-year effects are among the largest seen in higher ed evaluation research
(Detroit, April 24, 2019) — A study conducted by MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research firm, shows that the Detroit Promise Path increases the likelihood that students will enroll full time, persist in school, attend summer sessions, and earn more credits. The Detroit Promise Path is a program put in place by the Detroit Regional Chamber in partnership with MDRC that adds evidence-based college support services to the promise scholarship model. The study was released at the Michigan College Promise Symposium, a gathering of business, education and government leaders.

The Detroit Promise Path provides students with campus coaches and financial stipends to help them both successfully enroll in college and persist beyond the first semester. Results from MDRC’s rigorous random assignment evaluation show that Detroit Promise Path has particularly strong effects in the first year. For example:

  • Student participants were 8.1 percentage points more likely to enroll in their second semester than students who received the scholarship but did not participate in the Path program (62.7% vs. 54.6%) — and 10.3 percentage points more likely to enroll full time (32.9% vs. 22.6%).
  •  Student participants were nearly three times more likely to enroll in the summer session their first year (20.5% vs. 7.0%). Research has shown that students who enroll in summer courses are more likely to persist and graduate.
  • Perhaps most notably, students were nearly twice as likely to complete 24 or more credits their first year (10.8% vs. 5.6%), an important marker of being on a successful path to completion.
  • Students reported positive experiences in the program, especially in their relationships with their coaches.

“The effects of the Detroit Promise Path on persistence and full-time enrollment in the second semester are among the largest we’ve seen in rigorous tests of higher education interventions,” said Alexander Mayer, deputy director of postsecondary education at MDRC, who presented the results at the Michigan College Promise Symposium. “It’s good news for the larger College Promise field, and we look forward to learning whether these results persist and eventually translate into higher graduation rates for Detroit Promise Path students overall.”

Although it is too early to reach a conclusion about the effects in the second year of the study, the early findings are encouraging. Based on data from the first group of enrollees in Detroit Promise Path, second-year findings are positive, but not all are statistically significant and the effect on credits earned is smaller.

“Providing Detroit high schools students access to college is one part of a solution to ensuring student success. It is equally important to understand and address the barriers students in order to help them persist in college,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The MDRC results on the program are promising, and we look forward to continuing to remove barriers to education for Detroiters.”

“We at the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) are thrilled at the results of the evaluation of the Detroit Promise Program. Our goal from the beginning is to ensure that every student has the opportunity for a postsecondary education and for the support needed for success. Working with our partner funders like the Kellogg Foundation and others, we’re pleased their investment has yielded this kind of success and that the program has quickly become a national model,” said Peter Remington, president of Michigan Education Excellence Foundation.

“We know that access to quality higher education is a critical pathway for economic mobility. The Detroit Promise Path program demonstrates that an evidence-based approach can lead to improved student outcomes, and open more opportunities for more Americans,” said Michele Jolin, CEO, and co-founder of Results for America, a national nonprofit that helps decision-makers at all levels of government harness the power of evidence and data to solve problems.

The study was unveiled and discussed during the National College Promise Symposium at the Detroit Regional Chamber in partnership with the College Promise Campaign, The Kresge Foundation and United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

“Michigan is a leader in college promise programs, and it again has provided valuable insights. Our national partners will be examining this research to better understand how we can all create more support that can bolster student persistence and completion. Closing the guidance gap is key to creating a college-going culture,” says Martha Kanter, executive director, College Promise Campaign. The nonprofit, nonpartisan campaign reports that supporters have started over 300 college promise programs in 44 states, with over 20 states having statewide promise programs.

“MDRC’s analysis of the Detroit Promise Path provides critical proof points demonstrating that well-targeted student supports alongside reduced financial barriers are at the heart of improving student outcomes,” said Bill Moses, managing director of The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. “Student success is central to our mission at Kresge and we are proud to support research that illuminates effective methods of helping more students from low-income households and students of color succeed in college.”

“A postsecondary degree can be a game changer for young people and their families,” said Dr. Darienne Driver Hudson, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “It is critical that our high-school-focused investments in College and Career Pathways serve as a bridge to postsecondary opportunities. As this report demonstrates, access to wraparound supports are integral to ensuring children are equipped to compete in today’s global economy.”

The new report, A Path from Access to Success: Interim Findings from the Detroit Promise Path Evaluation, is available on MDRC’s website. MDRC also released a report from its College Promise Success Initiative describing ways in which promise programs have designed and implemented similar student support components to boost student success. The report points to several tools on MDRC’s website that promise programs around the nation can use to improve their own offerings to students.

The Detroit Promise Path program and evaluation are primarily funded by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation, with additional support from W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Ford Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and The Kresge Foundation. The Detroit Promise Path evaluation is affiliated with MDRC’s College Promise Success Initiative, which is funded by Ascendium Education Group.

View or download the full study.

Contacts:
• John Hutchins, MDRC, 212-340-8604, john.hutchins@mdrc.org
• Kelly Weatherwax, Detroit Regional Chamber, 313-596-0360, kweatherwax@detroitchamber.com

Sandy Baruah Discusses Talent Attraction at Troy Chamber Event

“When we talk about talent, the name of the game is retention,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, during a panel discussion on talent attraction in Michigan.

Retaining talent in Southeast Michigan is a key initiative of the Chamber that is supported through the work of the Chamber’s suite of education programs – including Detroit Promise, Detroit Drives Degrees and Let’s Detroit – and its automotive cluster association, MICHauto.

The panel discussion on Feb. 12 was part of the Troy Chamber of Commerce’s Power of the Future: 2019 Economic Forecast. Baruah was featured alongside Dan Gilmartin, president and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League; and Jennifer Llewellyn, manager of the Workforce Development for Oakland County and director of the Michigan Works! Agency. WDIV Local 4 News Reporter Rod Meloni moderated the discussion.

“When you look at the lateral region, Troy is incredibly important. It’s basically Troy and Detroit that are the two central business districts in our region,” said Baruah. “It’s great to have two choices between a true downtown environment that Detroit is rapidly becoming and a suburban business base that Troy truly is.”

At one point, Meloni asked Baruah, specifically, to share his thoughts on the current push to increase higher educational attainment levels in Michigan.

Baruah replied with data, “We have about 41 percent of adults that either have a four-year, two-year degree, or highly-skilled certificate. By 2030, roughly 60 percent of all jobs will require one of the three.” He added, “If 60 percent will be our needs and we’re at 41percent –that’s bad math.”

Baruah insisted that talent retainment can become a steady growth measure by answering to the needs of people already present in Michigan.

“Keeping people here – that’s placemaking, jobs, transit and investments in the infrastructure. And if we don’t do that, it’s game over,” said Baruah.

Press Release: MCAN College Access Impact Awards Recognize Three Metro Detroit Organizations and Individuals

Detroit Regional Chamber, Hazel Park adviser and Chandler Park adviser awarded for contributions to increasing postsecondary attainment

LANSING, MICH. – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) held its eighth annual conference in Lansing and recognized numerous outstanding college advocates from across the state on Monday at the annual College Access Impact Awards dinner, including Britteny Mitchell, a Michigan College Advising Corps adviser at Chandler Park High School, Moussa Traore, a Michigan State University College Advising Corps adviser at Hazel Park High School, and the Detroit Regional Chamber. Seven award categories recognized the hard work and dedication of 12 individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to improve postsecondary educational attainment in Michigan.

Mitchell and Traore are both recipients of the Ombudsman award, for their service at Chandler Park Academy and Hazel Park High School, respectively. The Ombudsman Award recognizes individuals whose passion for college access helps them persevere over challenges while engaged in their year of service as an AmeriCorps member through one of the college advising programs within the state.

The Detroit Regional Chamber earned MCAN’s Beacon Award because of their strong leadership in the college access and degree completion space, their innovative FAFSA Challenge, their long-­‐term and ongoing support for the Detroit College Access Network and Detroit Drives Degrees, as well as their support of the Detroit Promise. The Beacon Award recognizes those that work to unite programs, activities and/or operations in support of postsecondary attainment through partnerships.

“Our annual conference celebrates the individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to improve postsecondary attainment in Michigan,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of MCAN. “Congratulations to Britteny, Moussa, the Detroit Regional Chamber and all of our outstanding award winners. Their commitment to creating a college-­‐going culture in Michigan is making a difference in the lives of countless high school students.”

In addition to the award ceremony, the Michigan College Access Network hosted hundreds of college access professionals and education leaders during the two-­‐day conference. The conference theme, “Cultivating Tomorrow’s Talent,” emphasized the important role  talent development plays in improving   the future  of  Michigan.  MCAN  supports  initiatives  to  help  students  as  they  pursue  postsecondary education  in Michigan.

The Annual Conference included numerous breakout sessions and three keynote speakers: Michele Siqueiros, president, of The Campaign for College Opportunity, Laura Owen, director of the Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success at American University, and John Fox, head of Mopar sales and operations at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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About Michigan College Access Network

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-­‐income students, first-­‐generation college going students, and students of color. For the seventh year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7 percent of 25-­‐to-­‐64-­‐year-­‐olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 39.4 percent in 2016. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-­‐quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.7 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by  the year 2025. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

Grand Valley State University Partners on Detroit Promise 4-Year Program, Madonna University Also Signs On

By Daniel Lai

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is the latest higher education institution to partner with the Detroit Promise program. Officials announced the university’s commitment during a signing ceremony last Friday, making Grand Valley the 13th public university to offer a tuition-free path to a bachelor’s degree for qualifying Detroit students.

“Grand Valley is delighted to become a full partner in a program that puts a college degree within the reach of many more students from Detroit,” GVSU president Thomas Haas said. “Grand Valley has the best graduation rate among Michigan’s regional universities, and we know that college-bound students from Detroit will find their passion and obtain a degree at our university. We’re excited about the partnership with students, the Chamber and the city.”

The Detroit Promise picks up on the work that began with the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Scholarship Fund initiative, Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF), by providing a dedicated funding source to guarantee students in Detroit will be able to attend college tuition-free, no matter their economic status. It is funded through a combination of private fundraising through the MEEF and the Detroit Promise Zone, a program created by the state Legislature that allows for the capture of a portion of property tax revenue generated in the city.

“This partnership is an unprecedented opportunity for the city of Detroit,” said Chamber president and CEO Sandy Baruah. “We are honored to have Grand Valley on board, participating in this true partnership among the state, the city and our university and philanthropic communities.”

Citing the long-term economic impact of retaining local talent, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called the Detroit Promise, “one of the most important” initiatives for the city.

There are more than 260 students currently enrolled at a four-year university.

In addition to GVSU, Madonna University also signed a partner commitment with the Detroit Promise.

“We are excited to see Madonna University join the list of participating Detroit Promise partners, offering our students another high-quality university option close to home,” said Greg Handel, vice president of education and talent for the Chamber.

For more information on the Detroit Promise, visit www.detroitchamber.com/econdev or contact Greg Handel at ghandel@detroitchamber.com.

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 


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Detroit Promise Expands Tuition-Free Program to Four-Year Universities

Yesterday, on Nov. 28, the Detroit Regional Chamber joined with Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to announce the expansion of the Detroit Promise college scholarship program to include free tuition for eligible students at four-year educational institutions.

Launched in 2013, the program grew out of a collaborative effort between the Chamber, Gov. Snyder and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF). MEEF raises the funds for the scholarship and the Chamber partners with the schools and students to administer the program. In the past three years, nearly 2,000 Detroit high school graduates have had the opportunity to attend community college, tuition-free.

Earlier this year, Mayor Duggan launched the Detroit Promise Zone Authority that would permanently dedicate a portion of tax dollars to fund the two-year scholarships. This partnership, along with the partnerships from participating universities, allowed the program to expand to allow students that live in and attend high school in Detroit the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree from a four-year university. The expansion has been introduced as a pilot program for two cohorts of four-year students that began this fall and will include a second cohort that starts next fall. The four-year scholarships will be paid with funds raised by the MEEF, which has launched a campaign in hopes of raising $25 million over the next seven years.

In the current academic year, more than 700 students are attending two-year or four-year colleges through “last-dollar” scholarships, which cover tuition and other mandatory fees not covered by federal or state grant sources.

“In order for Detroit to compete and win in the 21st century global economy, the city needs world-class talent” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We’re pleased to partner with Gov. Snyder, Mayor Duggan, education partners and the funders to fulfill the Detroit Promise, and see post-secondary degrees increase in the city of Detroit.”

For more information on eligibility and instructions on how to register, please visit the Detroit Promise website.

Forward Detroit Quarterly Results

Quarterly Investor Results
July–September 2016

investor-blog_business-attraction
For the July to Sept. quarter the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Forward Detroit strategy reported the above results. The Chamber’s Business Attraction team assisted in closing three deals in the Detroit region, which created 223 jobs and brought in $69 million of investment. Learn more about the Chamber’s Business Attraction efforts.
investor-blog_dp
The Chamber’s Detroit Promise initiative identified 402 students in Detroit that were eligible for the four-year scholarship opportunity. The Detroit Promise enrolled 263 students in public four-year universities in Michigan and 650 students in five local two-year community colleges. Learn more about the Detroit Promise.

Read more about what the Forward Detroit initiatives accomplished:

Economic Developers Find Collaborative Solutions for Regional Investment at MEDA Conference

Detroit Promise Expands Support Services to Increase Graduation Rates

Detroit Promise Summer Ceremony Celebrates Start of New Year for College-Bound Students

Macomb, Oakland County Tour Highlights Auto and Manufacturing Assets to National Site Selectors

Global Automotive Forum Offers Insight Into Future of Mobility Industry in China

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Hamilton at 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page. For more information on Business Attraction, contact Justin Robinson at 313.596.0352