The Philadelphia Postsecondary Success Program (PPSP) of the Philadelphia Education Fund is a collaborative initiative designed to increase the number of low-income and first-generation public high school students who enroll and succeed in postsecondary education. PPSP was initially supported with a five-year grant from the Citi Foundation to launch a national Postsecondary Success Program, working with three local education funds in Philadelphia, Miami, and San Francisco. The Ace Group, a match funding partner after the second year of the initiative, has agreed to continue to support the work going forward.
PPSP is working in the following high schools:
* Benjamin Franklin High School
* John Bartram High School
* Kensington Creative & Performing Arts
* Kensington International Business/Finance & Entrepreneurial High School
* Kensington Urban Education
* Olney Charter High School
* Paul Robeson High School
* Roxborough High School
The key work includes coordinating and aligning services that support college preparation, contributing to school-wide college readiness cultures, and involving student and parents in planning for college beginning in the ninth grade.
Since 2008, a unique and powerful public/private partnership between the Ed Fund, the School District of Philadelphia and several local colleges/universities, has demonstrated that the major obstacle standing between our students and postsecondary success is the ability to create a clear pathway of supports and services for all students. PPSP has developed partnerships of stakeholders from K-12, community-based organizations, postsecondary institutions, and the business, foundation and civic sectors to improve access to college for low-income and public high school students. A few highlights of PPSP accomplishments include:
* Earning the Regional Challenges Collaboration Honor from Talent Greater Philadelphia
* Pioneering the use of the medical “rounds” concept to connect secondary and postsecondary educators.
* A rise in college enrollment up across the four PPSP schools for seniors in the following three cohorts:
2010: 22% | 2011: 21% | 2012: 33%
* Establishing postsecondary readiness activities as part of freshmen orientation in high school.
* Establishing a system of convening school resource partners who collaboratively manage postsecondary readiness activities
OMG - Center for Collaborative Learning, the national evaluator for the initiative, in its five-year report, indicated several successful outcomes of the PPSP:
* The number of students applying to and planning to attend college rose, providing evidence of increased college-going interest and action among students.
* School level partners recognized that knowledge and resource sharing, resulting from regularly-scheduled resource partners meetings are an important contribution of PPSP to their schools.
* Numerous activities are happening across the PPSP schools, that were not happening five years ago, providing evidence that a stronger college-going culture has emerged across the schools.
* Strong relationships between and among post-secondary and secondary partners have emerged through a number of different activities including instructional rounds core partner meetings and one-on-one partnerships between higher education and high school partners.
* The Ed Fund’s College Access Program and PPSP are well-aligned to offer a pathway for sustainability of this work.
Key aspects of the model that have gained traction will continue to include and focus on:
* Ninth Grade Orientations: Introduces students and parents to local colleges and universities, the college application process, and the essentials of college financial planning.
* Resource Partner Teams: Brings together school staff and community partners to plan whole-school; college-readiness activities; share college access and readiness data; identify gaps in access; and ensure equitable distribution of resources using the College Readiness Indicator System.
* Instructional Rounds: A process during which local high school and college instructional leaders observe each other’s classrooms and work collaboratively to improve the alignment of instruction between secondary and postsecondary education.
• An annual Spring Institute: Provides a forum for high school and college faculty to build on what was learned from the Instructional Rounds, share data, and develop action steps that support a student’s ability to be successful in a postsecondary setting.
Learn more about the instructional rounds and the Spring Institute.