Partnership Award Finalist- Deloitte and College Summit

Background

Deloitte is passionate about making college attendance the norm in America. Not only is it a social imperative, it is essential to developing the diverse labor pool that will keep our country competitive. Deloitte has teamed up with College Summit, a national nonprofit whose mission is to increase college enrollment rates in low-income communities, by contributing pro bono work, cash, skilled volunteerism, board leadership and specialized counsel as needs arise, to meet our shared goals.

2010 Winner!

Since 1993, College Summit has worked with schools, districts and colleges to develop a sustainable model for raising college enrollment rates. But with their positive outcomes had come a realization: bringing their success to scale required much more data than any of the parties involved had at their disposal.

Enter Deloitte. When Deloitte began working with College Summit in 2007, everyone knew that school leaders were working incredibly hard to help students. Yet, their efforts were often based on guesswork: schools didn't know what was driving students to enroll in college, nor what was preventing them. The end results were largely unknown too; they didn't know what happened to students after they graduated high school. The one thing they did know was that without more information, their impact would always be limited.

Together, Deloitte and College Summit embarked on a deeply integrated relationship that has resulted in the development of one of the most comprehensive systems available for tracking and measuring college enrollment, which is literally putting thousands of students in need on a path towards success.

Business Strategy

The Deloitte-College Summit relationship is defined by performance metrics for College Summit (advancing the mission of increasing college enrollment rates and scaling up its program) and Deloitte (employee engagement and opportunities for leadership involvement).

The impact on schools and students is tangible and powerful. Deloitte helped College Summit develop a state-of-the-art data reporting system that is one of the nation's most accurate accountings of low-income, post-secondary enrollment trends. College Summit makes this data actionable by sharing it with schools so they can adjust resources, curricula and scheduling to increase college enrollment rates. This data-driven approach allowed College Summit to increase college enrollment in partner schools by 20%.

While we pride ourselves on data, the human impact is extremely motivating. A representative anecdote from a Gates Millennial scholar is "I got accepted into UCLA. I owe a great deal to College Summit and Deloitte. They helped me…get the scholarship."

Evaluation and Impact

College Summit started in 1993, with four students at a teen center in the basement of a low-income housing project in Washington, D.C. Now operating in 10 cities and 160+ schools, and the recipient of a portion of President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize winnings, College Summit builds the capacity of low-income high schools to dramatically increase college enrollment rates. Trained student influencers build college-going culture, while teachers and counselors use a managed curriculum and technology tools to help students create postsecondary plans and apply to college. Data and accountability tools equip school leaders to manage improved student outcomes, in dramatically increasing numbers.

Deloitte is proud to have helped College Summit reach this pinnacle. When the two organizations teamed up in 2007, they identified a lack of information on the part of school leaders as a major impediment to scaling success.

Deloitte developed – pro bono – a data reporting system that has helped College Summit increase its own productivity by 87%, in some cases. College Summit now spends less time generating reports and more time positively impacting the lives of thousands more students.

The result: a 300% increase in the number of schools that receive college enrollment rate information and can act on it with students. And, College Summit reports a 20 percent increase in college enrollment for program participants. Deloitte's support is an example of how the business community can use its core strengths to help nonprofits organizations achieve social impact; its 2010 pro bono and cash support are valued at nearly $3 million.

Deloitte has also contributed significant leadership to College Summit: Barry Salzberg, CEO, Deloitte LLP now chairs College Summit's board and six others from Deloitte serve on the boards of local chapters. Deloitte is also the single largest provider of skilled volunteers to College Summit's annual writing workshops for college-going seniors.

Following are three testimonials about the impact of Deloitte's work with College Summit:

Deloitte volunteer (about writing workshop): "I saw hope in each of the students. They seemed so thankful that we had spent the time with them…at Deloitte, we pride ourselves on excellent client service and to be honest, I've never met more thankful 'clients' than the students at College Summit."

Deloitte volunteer (in a note to Barry Salzberg, CEO, Deloitte LLP, after volunteering at a College Summit writing workshop): "The impact we had on students was inspirational. There's no doubt that the [other] volunteers were aware of our culture by the end. We tried to explain how taking time to volunteer was actually encouraged [at Deloitte]; we think most had trouble trying to relate."

Dr. Dean Furbush, president of College Summit: "We can now sit down with the education leadership in a city and show results of college enrollment rates in their school system, compared to school districts around the country. We can go deeper with the data and help education administrators understand why certain results are showing up in their schools; we're using data to impact people's lives."