KEY Center

Institution
State
Texas
Academic Level
Associate
Issue Area
Retention
Key Personnel

Overview

The KEY Center’s mission is to promote participation in postsecondary education by encouraging intellectual growth and social development. The program intends to retain students, keep them in good academic standing, and transfer and/or graduate them to baccalaureate programs. To meet its mission of social development, rather than draw emphasis on the socioeconomic backgrounds of their students, the KEY Center instills a sense of importance and belonging by admitting and supporting them alongside peers with whom they can relate.

Program Description

Established in 2001, the KEY Center builds infrastructure for success outside the classroom to help students succeed in a normal college class. The Key Center strives to diminish barriers to success in higher education that Many Latino students may face when they enter college. It does so through academic support of advising, counseling, professional and peer tutoring, and transfer assistance. Rather than offering support in silos, the KEY Center model is a one-stop-shop for support services and resources. The Key Center also provides personal and professional development such as financial literacy education, mentoring, job shadowing opportunities, and exposure to cultural enrichment experiences. They serve 160 freshmen students per year (over 20% of incoming freshmen), with Victoria College’s average freshman class totaling 700 students.

Outcome

From Fall 2013 to Fall 2014:

78% of KEY Center students persisted, compared to only 45% of non-KEY students—a significant difference of 34%.

72% of its Hispanic students persisted compared to only 47% of non-KEY Hispanic students at Victoria College.

Hispanic Key students also persist at a higher rate than the 52% Texas and the 53% US averages.

The three-year average fall-to-spring retention rate for first-time-in-college Hispanic students who were also K.E.Y. Center participants, the fall-to-spring retention rate is 76%.