High School STEM Career Fair

We met so many wonderful tri-county region students today at the High School STEM Career Fair, presented by the Charleston Regional Business Journal, at the North Charleston Convention Center!

We shared tips on filling out the FAFSA and asked students to take a survey about what kind of career their interested in pursuing, the kinds of classes their taking and their knowledge of the FAFSA. We’ll be sharing the results of the survey with our High School Graduation Network to help them in their planning and decision making.

Let’s get ready to FAFSA!

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is how you apply for federal grants, including the Pell Grant, as well as work-study funds, student loans and scholarships.

If you plan to attend college between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, you should fill out your FAFSA now!

Tips for Completing the FAFSA

1.) The official FAFSA website is fafsa.gov. You should never be asked to pay to complete the FAFSA. It’s always FREE.

2.) Fill out the FAFSA form as soon as possible. Some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and some states and colleges run out of money early. Even if it seems like your school’s deadline is far off in the future, get your FAFSA done ASAP.

3.) It’s important to get an FSA ID before filling out the FAFSA form. When you register for an FSA ID, you may need to wait up to three days before you can use it to sign your FAFSA form electronically. An FSA ID is a username and password that you use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites, including fafsa.gov. You AND your parent will each need your own, separate FSA IDs if you both want to sign your FAFSA form online. Create an FSA ID at: StudentAid.gov/fsaid.

4.) Colleges can’t see the other schools you’ve added, so you should add ALL colleges you are considering to your FAFSA form, even if you aren’t sure if you’ll apply or be accepted. You can add up to 10 schools at a time.

Tri-county region sees declines in key reading, math test results

Newly released year-end test results for the tri-county region show year-over-year declines in reading proficiency for third and eighth grade, both pivotal years in a child’s academic career.

Third grade math proficiency also declined, but increased at the eighth-grade level. Despite the eighth-grade math increase, too many students continue to fall short of grade-level expectations.

Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative closely tracks third and eighth grade test results in particular because those years are important indicators of later success. Third grade results can predict a child’s likelihood to graduate from high school, while eighth grade results are directly tied to college and career readiness.

Only 48 percent of tri-county third graders met or exceeded grade-level reading standards on the SC READY test at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, an 8 percent decline from the prior year. On the math assessment, 57 percent of third graders met or exceeded standards, a 2 percent year-over-year decrease.

At the eighth-grade level, 45 percent of tri-county students met or exceeded reading standards versus 51 percent the prior year. Math results in eighth grade showed a modest 7 percent year-over-year proficiency increase; however, a significant percentage of students, 60 percent, scored as “not proficient.”

“While these test results are but one indicator of student progress, they are very consistent with all of the other data we see at the regional and district level,” TCCC CEO John C. Read said. “It is apparent that the public education system our community provides and to which our kids are entitled is not getting the job done, especially for our most vulnerable children.”

When broken down by race and poverty levels, the SC READY test results show substantial disparity gaps continue to exist among tri-county students.

For instance, in third-grade math, 72 percent of White students met or exceeded expectations while only 43 percent of Hispanic students and 37 percent of Black students did the same. Similarly, in eighth-grade reading, 60 percent of White students met or exceeded expectations while just 36 percent of Hispanic students and 24 percent of Black students did the same.

Test results for students living in poverty were also lower than for those living above the poverty line. For third-grade reading, as an example, 69 percent of students not living in poverty met or exceeded expectations while only 32 percent of those living in poverty did the same. In eighth-grade math, 56 percent of students above the line met or exceeded expectations while 23 percent of those living in poverty did the same.

The S.C. Department of Education released state, district and school level data for end-of-year tests from the 2016-2017 school year earlier this week. Tri-county data include results from Berkeley County School District, Charleston County School District, Dorchester School District 2 and Dorchester County School District 4.

Test results were based on the SC READY exam, which was given to all S.C. students in 3rd through 8th grades. The test is intended to measure overall student performance and college-and-career ready standards in core content areas.

Photos from Phoenix

The TCCC staff is in Phoenix this week, along with more than 400 other community leaders from across the country, for the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Networking Convening.

To tag along as we travel and learn, follow us on Twitter at @C2CTriCounty or on Facebook.

TCCC Staff Heading to Phoenix

The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative staff will be traveling to a national convening in Phoenix, Arizona this week!

Continuing our work to help all students in the tri-county region, we’ll be joining more than 400 community leaders from across the country for the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Networking Convening. This year’s theme is “Be the Change: Getting Results for Every Child.”

The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network brings together cross-sector leaders who are committed to improving educational outcomes for all children. Representing 70 community partnerships in 32 states and Washington, D.C., we’ll share our work to unite communities around shared goals and measurable results in education.

We’ll attend sessions and workshops devoted to building a culture of continuous improvement, eliminating disparities, engaging the community, improving outcomes and leveraging existing assets.

To tag along as we travel and learn, follow us on Twitter at @C2CTriCounty or on Facebook.


The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative office at 6296 Rivers Avenue, Suite 308 in North Charleston will be closed from Tuesday, October 3 through Friday, October 6.

To reach a staff member, please email or call them directly. Contact information for each staff member is listed here.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.