General Knowledge Among the People: Rural Strategy Development at the College Board
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CitationCarlson, Jeffrey Michael. 2016. General Knowledge Among the People: Rural Strategy Development at the College Board. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Abstract10 million students walk into rural schools every school day, representing about 20% of the United States’ public school population. More than a third of all public schools and almost three-fifths of local education agencies serve rural students. Creating coherent, scalable strategies to impact rural students can be difficult given the diffuse and often isolated context of the nation’s 7,000+ rural districts.
I completed my residency at the College Board, a New York-based nonprofit organization best known for its SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and Advanced Placement assessments. In 2015, these exams reached 1.7 million, 3.8 million, and 2.5 million students, respectively. Participation in College Board assessments continues to grow over time, but rural students participate at rates lower than their peers.
Working in Washington, DC, I completed a strategic project in the College Board’s Global Policy, Advocacy, and Communications division. The goals of the project were to determine the potential value of a strategy focused on rural schools and to develop a proposal outlining how to enact such a strategy. Through my strategic project, I created a College Board rural database, conducted interviews and case studies, and developed strategy proposals for potential pilot work in rural schools and districts.
In this capstone, I describe the actions and results of the strategic project in three phases and analyze the results through an analytic framework called the “strategic triangle.” This tool allows a decision maker to understand the three issues in nonprofit strategy: the potential public value, the sources of legitimacy and support, and the operational capabilities of the implicated organization.
The work of my residency resulted in the authorization of time, resources, and human capital needed to launch a College Board Rural Strategy pilot in the states of Colorado and Idaho. This pilot intends to create new partnerships and opportunity pipelines in rural schools while increasing the value of College Board-provided assessments and supports for rural students.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:27013331