Oakland Promise Kindergarten to College Evaluation
The Kindergarten to College (K2C) initiative is a component of Oakland Promise’s cradle-to-career approach. K2C aims to lay the foundations for a college-going identity early by instilling a college-bound mindset in all kindergarten students and their families. The program provides Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) kindergarten students with an early college scholarship and supports parents in setting up a college savings account for their child, including seed money. Oakland Promise also provides a K2C curriculum consisting of college-going lessons and activities, technical assistance, and related resources to promote a strong college-going culture in classrooms and throughout the school. In conjunction, OUSD elementary schools form K2C teams involving teachers, principals, and parents; organize college-going activities, such as field trips to local colleges and exploring career options; and provide financial education integrated into the school curriculum.
K2C activities are designed, in the short-term, to create a college-going culture in every participating elementary school, particularly among students and their parents. In the mid-term, the initiative aims to grow parents’ confidence in their ability to contribute financially to their child’s post-secondary education and help families prepare for college financially. Additionally, students’ academic achievement is expected to be on track and attendance improved.
NORC at the University of Chicago is evaluating this program using a longitudinal quasi-experimental design, following kindergartners in the 2017-2018 school year until the end of their third-grade year (2020-2021 school year). The primary comparison will be between 2017-2018 kindergarteners enrolled in the 18 schools who began K2C in the 2016-2017 school year versus kindergartners enrolled in 18 schools without K2C, using matching techniques. Short- and mid-term outcomes will be assessed through surveys and secondary analyses of existing student-level data.