#DegreesNYC’s Vision for Change
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 is a collective impact initiative founded by Goddard Riverside Options Center, Graduate NYC, and Young Invincibles to achieve equity in postsecondary access and completion in New York City. #DegreesNYC aims to close NYC’s postsecondary attainment gaps by aligning college and career efforts around a shared vision with clear goals. By doing so, there will be a significant increase in the number of young adults completing higher education and entering living wage jobs in NYC.
The partners’ vision is that, by 2025, at least 60 percent of each racial, ethnic, and income group in New York City will have a quality postsecondary credential. These certificates include enrolling in and graduating from a two- or four-year college, a vocational program, or a public service program, such as City Year.