The Austin Chamber of Commerce honored Round Rock ISD for achieving the “Highest College Readiness Rate for a School District” at the Chamber’s 2018 State of Education Event held Nov. 9, 2018.

Westwood High School was also recognized for achieving the highest Apply Texas submission rate and the highest senior survey participation rate among large high schools in Central Texas.

Since 2006, the Austin Chamber has partnered with local colleges and several Central Texas school districts to improve college enrollment. The Direct-to-College 70 (DTC70) program is working to attain a 70 percent rate of direct enrollment into postsecondary education, on par with the national average. Round Rock ISD has already exceeded that goal and, with a rate of 72 percent, leads all other Central Texas districts participating in the program.

“We are proud of our work in this field, and I particularly want to thank our counselors for their dedication to ensuring all Round Rock ISD graduates are not only prepared for postsecondary success but also have every opportunity to pursue their dreams. The Austin Chamber’s support in this critical arena is unprecedented and is making a tremendous impact across the region,” Superintendent Steve Flores, Ph.D. said. “But we have more to do. While we may have exceeded the Chamber’s goal, we want to set the bar even higher in Round Rock ISD and will continue to leverage resources to pursue the highest college readiness rate possible.”

Efforts to increase college readiness in Round Rock ISD include offering multiple school-day college assessment opportunities, embedding SAT/ACT test-taking strategies in language arts and math courses, and providing access to tutorials and other supports. The District also ensures all eighth-grade students take the PSAT and pays for all high school juniors to take the SAT.

The Austin Chamber’s DTC70 program has helped simplify and track students’ postsecondary readiness, college applications, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and put that directly into the hands of high school counselors. They’ve financed student surveys to find out what specific help they need and texted students and parents nearly 150,000 times to help keep them on track.