Citywide Postsecondary Enrollment and Completion Trends and the Impact of Coaching

March 23, 2023

On March 23, more than 250 people joined in as TBF hosted the release of two important reports analyzing how thousands of recent Boston Public Schools graduates have fared in postsecondary enrollment and completion, and a final report on the impact of Success Boston’s individualized coaching programs on student success.

The forum opened with a welcome from TBF Vice President and Chief Program Officer Orlando Watkins, who set the tone by reflecting on the Success Boston partnership's 15 years of work on behalf of Boston Public Schools students, with the goal of getting them ready, getting them in, and getting them through college.

He introduced researchers Joseph McLaughlin from the Boston Private Industry Council and Kelly Lack from Abt Associates, each of whom presented findings from new reports on college enrollment and completion by BPS graduates. The PIC report, entitled College Enrollment and Completion: Trends for Boston Graduates, highlighted the sharp recent decline in the percentage of BPS graduates going directly to college in the past four years, noting both the challenges of the pandemic and other obstacles to college alongside a growing number of supports and options for BPS students. He also noted that despite these issues, the percentage of BPS grads completing college had remained steady over time.

The Abt report, Coaching for Completion, highlighted one of the programs contributing to college success: Success Boston's transition coaching. Abt's data showed that Success Boston-coached students were as much as 21 percent more likely to complete their postsecondary program than their peers.

After the report presentations, TBF's Education to Career Program Officer Jade Franco, a former Success Boston coach herself, led a discussion on takeaways from the report.

Full writeup coming soon!

Event Agenda


Orlando Watkins, Vice President & Chief Program Officer, The Boston Foundation 

Presentation of Research Findings

Kelly Lack,Associate, Abt Associates
Joseph McLaughlin, Director of Research and Strategy, Boston Private Industry Council 

Panel Discussion

Ferlisa Comas, Former Success Boston Student, Alumni Success Coach, Boston Higher Education Resource Center
Carolina De Jesus, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Higher Education Resource Center
Marsha Inniss-Mitchell, Executive Director of Post-Secondary Initiatives, Boston Public Schools
Jade Franco, Program Officer, Education to Career, The Boston Foundation (Moderator)