Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
Kentucky public high schools will soon be able to track their graduates’ progress in college by using a free service called StudentTracker. The service will keep schools informed about former students, the colleges attended and degrees earned.
Teresa Combs, a guidance counselor at Pineville High School, said the service will help counselors and students.
“Every October we turn in a transition report that tells about every senior that has graduated, where they are, what they’re doing,” Combs said. The report is required by the state as part of each public high school’s accountability measures. That means calling every one of the previous year’s graduates to get the information.
But after the first year, counselors often lose touch with graduates because it’s impossible to keep track of four or five years’ worth of former students.
With StudentTracker, though, “if I know that maybe after the first year they’ve dropped out, I can get in touch with them and get them what they need to know to go back,” Combs said.
The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) and the National Student Clearinghouse, the developer of StudentTracker, will provide the service to all public high schools in the state. The Clearinghouse is a nonprofit organization in Herndon, Va.
The Clearinghouse maintains the only nationwide collection of college enrollment and degree records, covering more than 80 million students. By using StudentTracker, high schools and researchers can study college enrollment and success.
KHEAA will fund the project as part of its efforts to track students who participate in its state student financial aid programs. It will provide free access to StudentTracker to the state’s 225 public high schools.
“KHEAA is excited to offer our high schools this wonderful opportunity to track their graduates’ postsecondary educational efforts,” said Ted Franzeim Jr., senior vice-president for customer relations. “This knowledge will prove invaluable as Kentucky learns how well prepared our students are for the next step in their academic careers.”
National Student Clearinghouse President Rick Torres said the Clearinghouse is pleased to work with KHEAA on the project.
“StudentTracker will be a very useful tool for measuring student achievement, allowing Kentucky to use that knowledge to enhance students’ postsecondary preparation,” Torres said.
While the service is free, schools must individually enroll in StudentTracker. KHEAA will work with the Clearinghouse to contact schools for enrollment. Once enrolled, high schools can query the National Student Clearinghouse’s database and learn where their graduates enroll and graduate.
The National Student Clearinghouse is the nation’s trusted source for degree and enrollment information and provides reporting, verification and research services to more than 3,200 postsecondary schools and over 1,600 high schools. Kentucky is the seventh state to provide StudentTracker to all public high schools.
To learn how to plan and prepare for higher education, visit www.GoHigherKY.org. For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit www.kheaa.com; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602-0798; or call (800) 928-8926. For information about low-cost student loans, visit www.studentloanpeople.com; write The Student Loan People, P.O. Box 24328, Louisville, KY 40224-0328; or call (888) 678-4625.
For more information on the National Student Clearinghouse, visit www.studentclearinghouse.org.
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