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Texas State, KIPP schools partner to increase college completion rates

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
October 12, 2012

Texas State University and the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) have announced a partnership agreement designed to increase college completion rates for underserved KIPP students nationwide.

In partnering with KIPP, Texas State hopes to recruit and enroll 10 qualified KIPP alumni in the 2012-13 academic year and 15 each year thereafter. Texas State will provide strong support for KIPP alumni who enter the university.

"Texas State is committed to providing outstanding educational opportunities for all Texans," said Texas State President Denise Trauth. "This cooperative agreement with KIPP will help us strengthen our efforts to support lower-income students. It is important that access to higher education remain an attainable goal for every student who desires it."

KIPP signing ceremony at Texas State

Texas State University and the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) have announced a partnership agreement designed to increase college completion rates for underserved KIPP students nationwide. Pictured are Michael Heintze (associate VP of enrollment management at Texas State), Anthony Salerno (KIPP Austin), Michelle Hamilton (director of the Center for P-16 Initiatives at Texas State), Bryan Contreras (director of KIPP Through College), Katherin Brewer (KIPP Austin), Denise Trauth (president of Texas State), Mike Feinberg (co-founder of KIPP) and Gene Bourgeois (provost of Texas State). (Photo by Chandler Prude)

Texas State will also work to attract transfer students, aiming to recruit five for this school year and 10 the following year. As a part of the agreement, Texas State students can use their work-study dollars to mentor KIPP alumni attending the university or tutor at KIPP schools. KIPP schools will also serve as observation sites for Texas State students in teacher preparation programs as well as student teaching placement and full-time teaching opportunities.

KIPP is a national network of 125 open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools, serving more than 39,000 students in 20 states and Washington, D.C. Texas is home to four KIPP regions: KIPP Austin, KIPP Dallas, KIPP Houston and KIPP San Antonio.

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, 31 percent of all Americans aged 25-29 have earned a college degree. For students in the bottom economic quartile, only 11 percent complete college by their mid-20s. As of 2011, 36 percent of KIPP students had completed a four-year college after finishing eighth grade at a KIPP middle school 10 or more years ago. KIPP’s four-year college completion rate is above the national average for all students and more than three times the rate for students from low-income families nationwide. KIPP's goal is to reach a college completion rate that is comparable to that of the nation’s highest-income students.

“It’s exciting to see all four KIPP regions in the Lone Star state come together for this amazing partnership,” said Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP. “We are very happy to be partnering with Texas State University as it allows our hard-working KIPPsters to get a great state education right here in Texas.”

About KIPP

The Knowledge Is Power Program--KIPP--is a national network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. KIPP was founded in Houston in 1994 and has grown to 125 schools serving more than 39,000 students in 20 states and Washington, D.C. More than 95 percent of students enrolled in KIPP schools are students of color, and 85 percent qualify for the federal free- and reduced-price meals program. To date, more than 80 percent of students who have graduated from KIPP middle schools have matriculated to college.

For more information, contact Steve Mancini at (415) 5321-5396 or via email at smancini@kipp.org.