DATA SHOWS SUCCESS OF WESTLAKE ACADEMY STUDENTS AT COLLEGIATE LEVEL
Westlake Academy students are not only going to college and finishing, but they are getting their degrees quicker than the national average, according to data by the National Student Clearinghouse. The information was presented to the Board of Trustees during a meeting this week by Dr. Mechelle Bryson, executive principal/director of education.
Bryson said preparing students for postsecondary success in our evolving global economy is the ultimate goal of a college preparation education, and that college-readiness is two-fold: college acceptance and college completion. “As the United States continues to shift from a goods-based economy to a service-based economy, a college degree is imperative,” Bryson said.
The report, which contains graduation results for the 2010 – 2013 graduating cohorts, captures data from 93 percent of colleges. Facts in the report about Westlake Academy graduates include:
• Out of the class of 2010, 29.2 percent are enrolled in college in year five, 62.5 percent completed their degree in four years or less.
• Out of the class of 2011, 87.5 percent are enrolled in college in year four, 6.3 percent completed their degree in three years or less.
• Out of the class of 2012, 92.9 percent are enrolled in college in year two.
• Out of the class of 2013, 87.5 percent are enrolled in college in year one.
Last year, Westlake Academy’s 53 graduates had a 100 percent college acceptance rate, and were accepted into many top-rated universities with about $4.4 million in scholarships and grants. In June, Westlake Academy will graduate its sixth class. Fourteen students in the class of 2015 were in the inaugural first-grade class, which is a 40 percent retention rate since the school opened in 2003.
Bryson credits an outstanding staff at Westlake Academy coupled with the school’s International Baccalaureate program. Bryson said studies show IB graduates demonstrate strong critical thinking skills, are more likely to persist through college, and are more prepared for college-level coursework. “The retention rate of our students is astounding,” she said. “Those numbers are not the norm.”
Westlake Mayor Laura Wheat agrees. “This report is evidence of the fact that our Westlake Academy graduates are ready, willing, and able to tackle the college experience, both academically and socially,” Wheat said. “Kudos to our faculty, staff, administration, and most especially, our Westlake Academy alumni!”