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 ?
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.