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Promoting postsecondary school success through asset mapping

February 09, 2016


Watch a video that shows the impact of asset mapping in Miami.

The Postsecondary Asset Map is a research-based tool and approach that helps schools to reimagine and better align existing resources, such as time, money and human capital. Its purpose is to assist high schools in guiding underserved students toward successful college careers. Launched as part of the Postsecondary Success Collaborative (PSC), an initiative led by FHI 360, the online asset map has significantly increased the postsecondary access and retention rates of thousands of high school students in historically underrepresented groups. 

The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is the latest group to use the asset mapping tool. MCAN is implementing the approach in 100 schools through its new statewide Reach Higher program. At MCAN’s upcoming annual meeting March 8–9, FHI 360 staff will conduct a presentation and working session for Reach Higher school teams that focuses on analyzing their asset map assessment data. This work is designed to help the Reach Higher schools set priorities that will guide first-year implementation activities.

By 2018, 64 percent of jobs in the United States will require a postsecondary degree or certificate, according to Complete College America. But, the steps to college are not clear for many students, particularly those who are first-generation students or are from low-income communities. For these students, the supports and services to obtain degrees are fragmented, invisible or unavailable.

Youth and their families need transparent, aligned systems of supports and services to gain the skills and knowledge essential to postsecondary success. These include rigorous academic preparation, social-emotional skills, the ability to select and apply to postsecondary choices and financial aid sources, and the transition skills and supports to move fluidly between educational and workplace settings.

FHI 360’s Postsecondary Success Portfolio provides customized technical assistance for each unique regional context to help local partners to:

  • Develop or strengthen local leadership to support postsecondary access and success 
  • Identify and prioritize needs for student and family college and career readiness supports and services 
  • Map, align, leverage and develop resources and partnerships to meet targeted needs
  • Share critical data within and across systems

FHI 360’s Postsecondary Success Portfolio emphasizes the creation of sustainable and scalable strategies. The asset map is an example of one such strategy. Read more about FHI 360’s education work in the United States.