Utica Community Schools graduation rate showed improvement for the fifth consecutive year and remains one of the region’s top performers, according to a recent report.
The Center for Educational Performance and Information annual report of Michigan graduation rates showed a UCS graduation rate of 93.06 for the 15-16 school year. This represents an increase over the 14-15 rate of 92.44.
Student graduation rates in UCS continued to improve as state averages declined slightly. UCS graduates outpaced the State of Michigan average of 79.65 percent by more than 13 percentage points.
“Our graduation rate reflects the hard work and high expectations of our teachers and students,” superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “We remain focused on increasing student access to rigorous, high quality courses that promote post-secondary success for all graduates.”
Regionally, Utica Community Schools graduation rates outpace averages in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Livingston counties.
UCS strategies that focus on improving high school rates and post-secondary graduation success include:
- Achievement Via Individualized Determination (AVID) – Utica Community Schools was the first Macomb County district to offer AVID, a national program initiated as a research-based college readiness system. Students take rigourous courses and receive additional support in such areas as organization, study skills, and critical thinking, and participate in motivational activities that promote the importance of continuing education after their high school diploma.
- Naviance - Naviance is a web-based college and career readiness tool that helps connect academic achievement to post-secondary goals. UCS secondary students have access on wide-ranging topics such as career exploration, academic planning, college planning, test preparation, and scholarship availability. Through the Family Connection portion of the program, parents are also able to access their child’s profile that outlines the student’s interests, goal setting, course recommendations, college and career options, and scholarship opportunities.
- Lead Higher - The district is also increasing Advanced Placement (AP) participation by being named among 100 national districts selected for Lead Higher. This initiative is a national effort aimed at closing achievement gaps among student groups by matching participation in rigorous college-level programs to a district’s student population.
- Credit Reviews – School administrators closely monitor 9th-grade students to ensure they are staying on track to earn the required credits for graduation. Students needing additional assistance are provided individual support to ensure they remain focused on graduation and successful post-secondary experiences.