269877 Metro Academies Initiative: Improving Educational Achievement is a Public Health Issue

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Mary Beth Love, PhD , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Vicki Legion, MPH , Health Education, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Savita Malik, EdD, MPH , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Rama Kased, MS , SF Stae, San Francisco, CA
Amie Fishman, MPH , Health Education, SF State, San Francisco, CA
In the US the gap in college completion between low-income students and more affluent students has doubled since 1975. Educational attainment is a major social determinant of health. California ranks forty-ninth with nearly the worst graduation gap between under-represented students – African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans – and their white peers. Among African American and Latino community college students with intent to transfer, only twelve percent and nine percent do so within three years. SF State University and City College of San Francisco have developed an intervention to sharply improve timely graduation. Each Metro Academy is a reconfiguration of the first two years of college – a ‘school within a school' for up to 140 students. Outreach is focused on students who are first-generation, low-income and/or under-represented. Metro students co-enroll in two linked classes each semester over four semesters, studying together throughout a highly structured curriculum. Metro students show dramatically improved persistence into the fifth semester (82% vs 62%) compared to a matched comparison. They have better grades and complete more credits. They have statistically significantly better scores on many items in the National Survey of Student Engagement. The Metro program model is scalable and sustainable because it is a more efficient reconfiguration of general education courses already in the base budget. A preliminary cost study by the RP Group suggests that Metro's highly structured pathway and strong guidance cost per graduate goes down. To support scale-up, we are now developing a web-based Metro Toolkit and technical assistance capacity.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Define the important link between educational achievement and health Discuss how closing the achievement gap in educational achievement is a public health issue Describe the Metro Academies Model to improve equity in college excellence and achievement Evaluate the impact of Metro on student success, persistence and graduation from both a 2 community college and a 4 year University

Keywords: College Students, Health Education Strategies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am chair and professor of Health Education at SF State University. I have a PhD in Public Health and have been teaching for 25 years. I have received four prestigious grants from the Fund to Improve Secondary Education. I have received multiple awards fro my presentations and publications. I have extensive local, state and national partnerships.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.