Understanding current educational attainment levels and tracking progress over time is critical to achieving collective success in improving regional education outcomes. For that reason, 1A developed this interactive data dashboard to collect and report on the latest educational attainment data for our region. The dashboard uses data from publicly available sources like the Louisiana Department of Education and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Use the menu below to view details on specific data indicators we’re tracking, or click the button below to view the full Dashboard.
WHAT IS THE BIG PICTURE OF EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT IN ACADIANA?
- In terms of the percent of adults (age 25+) with an associate degree or above, Louisiana ranks 48th as a state
- Within Louisiana, Acadiana ranks in the bottom half as a region (5th out of 8)
- In the nine-parish 1A region, 25.5 percent of adults have an associate degree or above, while only 20 percent have a bachelor’s degree or above
- We must improve this trajectory to remain economically competitive and prepare our citizens for good jobs and good wages
ARE ACADIANA STUDENTS MASTERING GRADE-LEVEL CONTENT?
- Students in grades 3 through 8 take Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) assessments, which measure grade-level skills aligned with the Louisiana Student Standards
- Louisiana’s new goal is that all students achieve mastery (4 on a 5-point scale)
- Mastery of 3rd grade ELA (reading and writing) is critical; 75 percent of students who are poor readers in 3rd grade never catch up
- Less than half of Acadiana 3rd graders have mastered grade-level ELA content
- As we strive to make progress in improving our region’s education outcomes, particular attention must be focused on addressing the persistent achievement gap among subgroups
- While nearly 2 of 3 students in Acadiana have failed to master grade-level content, the same is true for more than 4 out of 5 African-American students
ARE ACADIANA STUDENTS GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL AND READY FOR COLLEGE?
- The rate of high school students that graduate within four years of starting 9th grade is an important measure of the performance of local school districts and in whether students are prepared for college or a career
- The average four-year graduation rate in the 1A region is 84 percent ahead of the statewide average of 81.4 percent
- The ACT is a standardized test for college admissions in the U.S. and is a widely accepted measure of educational quality
- These scores are especially relevant to business because they provide a measure of the “final product” of the public education system
- 1A’s average ACT composite score of 18.6 lags the state (18.9) and national (20.7) averages
ARE ACADIANA STUDENTS TRANSITIONING TO COLLEGE?
- Enrolling in college is the first step toward completing college
- While 84 percent of Acadiana students graduate high school within four years, only 50 percent of those graduates enroll in college the first fall after graduating, trailing the state (57 percent) and national (67 percent) averages
- Every year, millions of high school seniors fail to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), leaving billions of dollars on the table in federal financial aid
- As the cost of attending college rises, federal financial aid is a critical lever in ensuring college access and affordability across income levels
- Due to the historically low number of Louisiana students completing the FAFSA, Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) adopted a policy requiring graduating seniors to complete the FAFSA as a condition for earning a high school diploma
- The policy, which BESE adopted in 2015, went into effect for the class of 2018
- As a result, Louisiana has risen to #1 in the nation for both FAFSA completion and growth
ARE ACADIANA STUDENTS COMPLETING COLLEGE?
- For public 2-year institutions, the national average for first-year, full-time students who return to the same institution the fall following the initial term of enrollment was 49 percent for 2016 to 2017
- For public 4-year institutions, the national average was 71 percent
- A number of factors impact college retention, including academic performance, academic engagement, individual attitude and satisfaction, and social and family support
- College graduation rates in the 1A region are trending upward, with our three largest institutions seeing year-over-year growth since 2012
- The national average for completing a certificate or associate degree within 150 percent of normal time (i.e., completing a 2-year degree within 3 years) at public 2-year institutions was 29 percent
- The national average for completing a bachelor’s degree within 150 percent of normal time (i.e., within 6 years) at public 4-year institutions was 59 percent