Return on Investment in Educational Success
Prior to 2007, only one out of every two Doña Ana County high school students graduated, leaving far too many young people unqualified to join the business community that desperately needed them. Today, Doña Ana County graduates 83% of students, and we seek to reach even higher.
In the past decade, the results from this powerful partnership, and the community’s focus on its students, have been startling:
- Increased graduation rate in the county by 20% in just two years, and now four out of every five high school students graduate.
- Increased earnings by $179 million to $310 million annually from those additional students who graduated, boosting the local economy while generating additional state and federal tax revenue.
- Built a ground-breaking collaboration between the K-12 and higher ed systems to launch the innovative Early College High Schools model that has been so successful, it became a statewide movement that helps first generation college attenders to:
- Complete high school while earning a two-year college degree or career certification debt free
- Be ready to enter high-skilled, higher paying career fields upon graduation
- Shorten their time to a four-year degree by as much as half
- Break the cycle of poverty and change the definition of success for their siblings and future generations
- Became the state’s leading voice for adequately funding dual credit courses and their likelihood to attend college.
- Piloted a “blended senior year” model in the Gadsden district, in which the senior year of high school becomes the freshman year of college to earn an employer-valued Career Certification.
- Became a model for collaboration that has been replicated across Doña Ana County and the state of New Mexico.
None of this monumental change would be possible without the generous contributions and support from community, state, and national partners investing in New Mexico’s future by investing in its students.
The First of Its Kind
Arrowhead Park Early College High School was the first innovation that came from the collaboration between business and education. Las Cruces Public Schools, Doña Ana Community College, and New Mexico State University working together through Arrowhead Park ECHS have shown the rest of the state what’s possible in supporting student success. In just the first three classes of graduates, the returns were astounding:
Graduates (nearly 100% graduation rate)
hours of college coursework completed
of cost-free (and debt-free) college coursework for students
saved from unnecessary college remediation
associates degrees and career certifications earned