POLICY BRIEF: Growing College Enrollment and Persistence with the Pittsburgh Promise
Like other cities looking to reinvigorate their local community and labor force, Pittsburgh has turned to a place-based scholarship (or “Promise” program) as a means to encourage enrollment in its city schools, support college going for district graduates, and bolster the strength of its labor force. As with many other Promise programs across the country, the Pittsburgh Promise sought to revitalize the urban core by increasing the appeal of city living, encouraging investment in education, and making post-secondary education more accessible to high school graduates. Now in operation for just over 10 years, this brief provides a summary of the structure of the program and the data on outcomes to date. A unique quality of the Pittsburgh Promise is the strong evidence-based culture it has established with the Pittsburgh Public Schools and research partners (Iriti & Page) at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center. This continuous research and evaluation function guides the ongoing management and adaptation of both the program and the district as each continues to strive for improved outcomes. In particular, this work helps to focus on policies, structures, and practices that support or impede the attainment of desired outcomes for students and systems alike.
Download this policy brief to learn more about the Pittsburgh Promise.
Jennifer Iriti is a Research Scientist and Director of the Evaluation for Learning Group at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research & Development Center, designs, manages, and implements evaluations of education programs and organizations in PK-20 settings. Methodologically eclectic, she focuses on providing rigorous research and evaluation to support educational policy- and decision-makers about persistent problems of policy and practice.
Lindsay C. Page is an assistant professor of research methodology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, a research scientist at Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center, and a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her work focuses on quantitative methods and their application to questions regarding the effectiveness of educational policies and programs across the pre-school to postsecondary spectrum.