American Samoa Alliance for College and Career Readiness

This alliance, which includes members from the American Samoa Department of Education (ASDOE), American Samoa Community College, private schools, government agencies, and community organizations, aims to increase college, career, and life readiness through the use and analysis of longitudinal data. The federally-funded K-12 longitudinal data system (LDS) within the ASDOE helps support the use of data to inform questions of policy and practice related to students’ high school experiences to ensure that all students are college and career ready upon graduation. The goal of next year’s work is to identify and analyze data within the LDS to assist alliance members with the implementation and evaluation of American Samoa’s Five-Year Comprehensive School Based Improvement Plan. This plan focuses in part on aligning curriculum, professional development, leadership, assessment, community involvement, and technology to better support students’ college, career, and life outcomes in American Samoa.

Research alliance projects underway in American Samoa include:

Using Student Longitudinal Data Systems to Increase College and Career Readiness in American Samoa 
Description: The goals of this project are to increase awareness and use of a new K-12 longitudinal data system, to support alliance members as they use data to inform questions of policy and practice related to students’ school experiences to ensure that all students are college and career ready upon high school graduation, and to investigate the feasibility and utility of adding post-secondary data to the K-12 longitudinal data system to allow stakeholders to connect indicators of college and career readiness (e.g., course taking, SAT-10 scores) to post-secondary data such as college matriculation and college graduation. The project consists of a series of four in-person capacity-building sessions, beginning in April 2014.

Research Questions:

  1. How can data in the new system be accessed and analyzed to inform policy and practice related to college and career readiness?
  2. What kinds of analyses are possible if post-secondary data were to be integrated into the K-12 longitudinal system?

College Readiness Among High School Completers in American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Description: Many students entering college in the Pacific region are required to enroll in developmental or remedial education programs, which can increase the time required to achieve a degree and are associated with less successful college outcomes. In American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), education leaders have expressed concerns about college readiness of graduating high school students and the percentage of students testing into remedial courses. This study responds to requests from education leaders to examine the condition of college readiness in these entities and to identify opportunities to strengthen and improve students’ college and career readiness.

Research Questions:

  1. What are the availability and quality of student-level data for high school students in American Samoa to construct college and career readiness leading indicators to measure readiness to successfully transition to postsecondary education?
  2. Given the availability and quality of the data, what is the performance of high school seniors on a number of indicators that may relate to college readiness from the most recent cohort in American Samoa, by demographic subgroups and by 12th-grade completion status?

Continuous Improvement: Developing a Cycle of Implementation and Evaluation Support for American Samoa’s Comprehensive School-Based Improvement Plan
Description: The proposed project builds on the work of the American Samoa Alliance for College and Career Readiness, as members move to use research results, data, and best practices to ensure that more students in American Samoa are ready to succeed in college, careers, and life. This technical assistance project will include three in-person working sessions. These sessions will bring together working groups that are responsible for implementing and evaluating the various components of the plan. Working sessions are designed to focus on group discussion and accomplishing goals that may be unique to participants within the larger group. REL Pacific’s role within these working sessions will be to facilitate discussions, provide expert advice as groups work on their projects, and provide participants with access to research-based information to help accomplish specific goals (all under the framework of enhancing career and college readiness). These sessions will be structured as a blend of presentations, discussion, and working time.

Research Questions:

  1. What data are necessary to evaluate the process of implementing the plan?
  2. What data are necessary to evaluate the impact of implementation?
  3. How should data be analyzed to formatively influence implementations?
  4. How should the plan or components of the plan be reformulated based on the continuous improvement cycle?

Member organizations:

  • Alliance for Strengthening Families
  • Office of the Governor
  • American Samoa Community College
  • American Samoa Department of Education
  • American Samoa Government, Department of Commerce
  • American Samoa Government, Department of Human Resources
  • American Samoa Government, Department of Youth and Women Affairs

The alliance lead for the American Samoa Alliance for College and Career Readiness is Dr. Daisy Carreon.

Watch a video on projects from the American Samoa Alliance for College and Career Readiness: