Sharing Responsibility for College Success: A Model Partnership Moves Students to Diplomas and Degrees

Best Practices /

In order to prepare the large number of postsecondary-educated youth our economy demands, high schools and higher education must break through the boundaries that have traditionally separated them and assume joint responsibility for student success. This brief describes an unusual school district partnership with colleges that has achieved impressive results doing just that.

By redefining the roles and responsibilities of secondary and postsecondary partners, educators in one of the nation’s most impoverished areas have substantially increased college completion and career readiness for the region’s young people. The strategies developed in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Independent School District in South Texas offer exciting lessons for states and other communities about how—and why—to rethink the age-old systems that support the transition from high school to college completion.