For every 100 students who enroll in 9th grade in New York City, only 21 earn a college degree. College readiness, college enrollment, and degree attainment rates for black and Hispanic youth are lower than the overall city average and substantially lower than their white peers. City-wide, 57% of white adults have a bachelor’s degree compared to 22% of their black and 16% of their Hispanic counterparts.
Additionally, postsecondary outcomes for low-income youth lag way behind their upper-income peers. Nationally, the bachelor’s degree attainment rate for higher-income young people is seven times that of low-income youths.
Finally, over one-third of young adults in the city are neither in school nor working in low-wage jobs with limited advancement opportunities.
We know that a 21st-century economy requires some education after high school. While progress has been made in recent years on many of these indicators in the city, significant gaps remain that demand collective action.
New York City has a robust community of organizations, advocates, and educators committed to closing college and career achievement, opportunity, and attainment gaps. However, unlike cities such as Chicago or Los Angeles, New York does not have a comprehensive city-wide vision or strategy for concretely improving outcomes for young people in these areas. President Obama’s North Star Goal, Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, Mayor de Blasio’s Equity & Excellence Initiative, Graduate NYC’s goal to increase college readiness and college graduation rates in NYC, and recent calls to action by national organizations and foundations present us with a unique moment of opportunity to dramatically change the trajectory of our young people and our city through collective action.
What is #DegreesNYC?
i#DegreesNYC is a data-informed collective impact movement co-led by young people and education professionals to move to equity in education in NYC. #DegreesNYC was founded in 2016 by Goddard Riverside Options Center, Graduate NYC, and Young Invincibles.. It is currently led by a small staff and its Youth Council, in close partnership with its core partners, Young Invincibles and the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, and over 50 member organizations. #DegreesNYC has five or more work groups, task forces, and committees at any given time, currently comprising about 150 people form 100 organizations.
By 2030, 60% of each racial/ethnic or income group in New York City will have a quality postsecondary credential.
#DegreesNYC Organizational Members as of March 2021
Arch Forensics, LLC
Baruch College - Office of College Now & Collaborative Programs
Beverly L. Smith Empowerment Initiative
Bigs & Littles NYC Mentoring
Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM)
Bronx Documentary Center / Bronx Junior Photo League
Center for Youth Employment
Classroom, Inc./Read to Lead
College Bound/ MMCC
CUNY Black Male Initiative
DreamYard Project, Inc.
East Harlem Tutorial Program
East Side House Settlement
Education Beyond the Core Consulting
First Star CSI Academy
Friends of WHEELS
Futures and Options
Goddard Riverside Options Center
Good Shepherd Services
Harlem Educational Activities Fund
Internationals Network for Public Schools
KIPP Through College & Career
Legal Outreach, Inc.
Mizz P. Post-Secondary Success Consulting, LLC
New Settlement Apartments
New Visions for Public Schools
NYC Department of Education/Office of Safety and Youth Development
NYU Metro Center College Prep Academy
Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow
Partnership for Afterschool Education
Phipps Neighborhoods College Access Program
Sadie Nash Leadership Project
South Asian Youth Action
South Bronx Community Charter High School
South Bronx Rising Together
Teens Take Charge
The Door - A Center of Alternatives
The Eagle Academy Foundation
The Education Trust-NY
The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation
The Opportunity Network
The Urban Assembly
Youth Development Institute