AT&T Aspire: Students from D.C.'s Frank W. Ballou Senior High School discuss the high school drop-out problem, hurdles they face and how AT&T Aspire programs are helping them pursue their educational and career goals
WHAT IS ASPIRE?
As access to skilled workers becomes increasingly vital to the U.S. economy, AT&T is stepping up its commitment in education to help more students graduate from high school ready for careers and college, and to ensure the country is better prepared to meet global competition. Read more »
Among the most significant corporate educational initiatives in the U.S., AT&T Aspire has already impacted more than one million students across all 50 states since the program launched in 2008.
In March 2012, we announced an expansion to the Aspire program, bringing our total investment up to $350 million. With this additional financial commitment, AT&T Aspire will build on the program's first four years of success by:
- Using technology to connect with students in new and more effective ways, including interactive gamification and Web-based content and social media.
- Taking a "socially innovative" approach to tackle high school success and college/career readiness for students at-risk of dropping out of high school. What is social innovation?
- Tapping the innovation engine of the AT&T Foundry to look for fresh or atypical approaches to educational obstacles. Learn more about the AT&T Foundry.
- Capitalizing on the power of personal connections in the form of mentoring, internships and other voluntary efforts that involve many of AT&T's approximately 240,000 employees and by engaging our customers in the issue.
We're excited to continue working with leading education organizations across the country to help prepare students for success in the workplace, college and life.
EDUCATION IN AMERICA
- Lacking a high school degree is a serious issue in the United States, where about one in five students does not graduate high school with their peers.1
- On average, a high school dropout earns 33 percent less during the course of his or her lifetime compared with a high school graduate and 65 percent less than a college graduate with a bachelor's degree.2
- The dropout rate, along with inadequate training and education, is keeping many high-paying Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) jobs from being filled. And the situation is expected to worsen as STEM jobs grow a projected 17 percent by 2018.3
- Workers in STEM positions typically earn 26 percent more than those in non-STEM positions.3
Although the problem is serious, there are signs of progress according to a February 2013 report by Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America's Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education:
- The national high school graduation rate is increasing at an accelerated pace and, for the first time, puts the nation on a path to reach the 90 percent goal by the Class of 2020.
- The high school graduation rate increased by 6.5 percentage points nationally from 2001 to 2010.
- In 2001, the rate was 71.7 percent; by 2010, it had risen to 78.2 percent. Two States – Wisconsin and Vermont – have reached the national goal of achieving a 90 percent high school graduation rate. Eighteen other states are on pace to reach this goal by 2020.
- And the number of "dropout factory" high schools (a high school where 12th-grade enrollment is 60 percent or less than the 9th-grade enrollment three years previously) dropped from 2,007 to 1,424 from 2002 to 2011 – a 29 percent decrease. 1.1 million fewer students attended these dropout factories in 2011 than in 2002.
- Significant "graduation gaps" impede progress, as graduation rates among states are uneven for students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes, disabilities and with limited English proficiency. Although there has been progress in boosting graduation rates for Hispanic and African American students in recent years, the four-year graduation rate is still 66 percent or less for African American students in 20 states and for Hispanic students in 16 states.
1 According to a February 2013, report by Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America's Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education.
2 Anthony Carnevale, Jeff Strohl, and Michelle Melton. Selected Findings from What’s It Worth: The Economic Value of College Majors. Georgetown University: Center on Education and the Workforce.
3 "STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future," U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration [July 2011]
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- Genesys Works
- National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters (AMA announcement)
- Communities in Schools
- City Year
- Jobs for America’s Graduates
- The Power of a New Vision
- 1 Million Hours, Unlimited Potential
- Movie Making Builds Life Skills
- Helping Students Graduate: One Community at a Time
- Building Apps to Hack the High School Dropout Rate
- "Hacking" into Student Success through AT&T Aspire
- GameDesk: Where technology, fun and academic success converge
- Aspire to Success
OUR PARTNERS & SUPPORTERS
- The Alliance for Excellent Education
- America's Promise Alliance
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America
- City Year
- Civic Enterprises
- Communities in Schools
- The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University
- Genesys Works
- Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG)
- Junior Achievement
- Roadtrip Nation
- United Way Worldwide
- We Teach Science