Improvement Science for College, Career, and Civic Readiness: Achieving Better Outcomes for Traditionally Underserved Students through Systematic, Disciplined Inquiry

Preparing more students for success in college, career, and civic life is of critical importance, particularly for traditionally underserved students. Improvement science represents promising ideas and practices for how to achieve greater outcomes for students, particularly at scale. In this dissertation, two projects were undertaken related to college, career, and civic readiness, one to reduce chronic absenteeism and the other to increase Cal Grant award rates. Using improvement science methodology, chronic absenteeism was reduced by up to 85% across three schools and Cal Grant award rates increased from 35% to 46% across five high schools. These projects were written up according to guidelines for reporting on improvement projects taken from healthcare.