Two Measures of College and Career Readiness Tell Very Different Stories

What happens when a student graduates from high school but is not ready for college or a career? The stakes for that student’s trajectory, potential earning power, and economic opportunity couldn’t be higher.

Texans ages 25-34 who earn an associate degree are nearly twice as likely to earn at least $50,000 per year than those who don’t earn a degree (24% vs. 13%). Those earning a bachelor’s degree or higher are nearly four times as likely to reach this self-sustaining wage (49% vs. 13%).

If every eighth grader in Harris County were to earn an associate degree, that one graduating class would collectively earn nearly $818 million in additional annual income. Across the eight largest counties in Texas, annual income gains would
total $6.1 billion. Today, only 22% of Harris County students complete a postsecondary certificate or program within six years of their high school graduation.

This brief explains the two different definitions for “College and Career Readiness” in Texas and the resulting outcomes for Harris County students so that policymakers and advocates can better assess and improve students’ readiness to succeed after high school.

After reading the brief, view a dashboard from the Commit Partnership showing how well each Texas school district is doing in earning CCMR outcomes funding. Click here, and then, just above the map, click CCMR.