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Software tracks students post BHS

The paths taken by Bedford High School graduates are being followed in an effort to ensure that courses and programs offered at the school meet the needs of future alumni.

The National Student Clearinghouse is a software program that provides tracking to see how many students enroll in a two- or four-year school after graduation, what colleges they attend, and if they graduate from those colleges.

“Not too many schools do anything with tracking their graduates,” said James Brown, dean of student services at Bedford High School.

The tracking assists with evaluating the success of Bedford High School programs, and so far Brown said the numbers are encouraging.

Currently, 82 percent of BHS graduates go immediately on to college, 72 percent to a four-year program.

For the Class of 2010, the study provided “persistence data,” an indicator of how many students return for a second year of college, and 75 percent of BHS students reached that benchmark.

“I like what this data tells us,” Brown said.

Brown said the data is linked to the rigor of high school coursework, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes.

“That’s a measure of what sort of work we did with them when they were in high school,” said Assistant Superintendent Chip McGee.

The data also showed trends about the schools attended by BHS students. Forty-six percent attended college out of state, while 35 percent attended schools in state. Students attending public universities was at 42 percent, as opposed to private schools, which were attended by 39 percent of students.

Other information included in the early data showed the top 20 colleges attended by Bedford graduates. The top school was the University of New Hampshire, attended by 128 BHS students. Other schools included NHTI, Keene State College, Southern New Hampshire University and Saint Anselm College.

Future reports generated by 2016 will provide information on the total number of BHS graduates that graduate college, how long it took them to do that, and what degrees were earned.

While the current system gives some desired data about students, Principal William Hagen said the school is on the lookout for a program that may provide even more information.

“This is our first step with it,” he said. “We’re just getting our toe in the water.”

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