Groups Plan to Raise College Enrollment, Graduation in Next 10 Years



Some Shelby County organizations announced goals to improve post-secondary education rates in the county with a set of plans unveiled during the White House College Opportunity Day of Action on Thursday.

The overall goal of the Day of Action is to “help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment,” according to a statement from the White House.

In Shelby County, three organizations — Seeding Success, the City of Memphis Mayor’s Office of Talent and Human Capital, and some colleges and universities in Memphis — laid out plans to raise college enrollment and graduation rates here in the next 10 years.

The groups want to:

• Increase college completion rates from 32 percent to 55 percent by producing 144,011 post-secondary credentials, 91,962 bachelor’s/associate’s degrees, and 52,049 certificates.

• Seeding Success, Shelby County Schools, and the Achievement School District set shared community goals for K-12 success so that by 2025, 80% of high school graduates will be college or career ready. Of those, the groups want 90 percent of them to graduate high school on time, and 100 percent of them to enroll in a post-secondary school.

To get there the groups want to:

• Expand support and services to help students fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Information about that project can be found at

• Create teams at partner universities to share best practices that ensure more students complete their degrees.

• Adopt a case management approach to serve at-risk students.

• Focus on male, African American students as a part of the My Brother’s Keepers initiative.

• Focus on more Latino/Latina students getting a post-secondary credential as part of the Latino Memphis Latino Student Success Initiative.

• Getting more adults with some college and no degree back into a post-secondary system through Graduate Memphis. 

SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson -

“I applaud the (President Barrack Obama’s) commitment to expanding access to higher education for the nation's youth. In Memphis, we recognize education as being every child's best chance for success, and this is especially true for children in at-risk communities. To this end, we have set forth highly ambitious strategic goals to drastically increase graduation rates and ensure students are equipped for college and careers straight out of high school. 

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