Academic achievement is one of the central outcomes targeted by all major models of youth development. Youth who succeed academically are well-positioned to thrive through meaningful careers, positions of community leadership, and fulfilling personal and family lives (Arnold, 2018). As such, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has established a set of ambitious goals for the postsecondary education of Texas youth. Almost in tandem with the establishment of these goals, outcomes of academic achievement in relation to membership in Texas 4-H have become a keen interest for stakeholders. Through our study, we compared postsecondary academic achievement of Texas 4-H Alumni who graduated from high school in 2013, 2014, and 2015 against the Texas population. Data sources included the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), the THECB, and an online survey. Results found that Texas 4-H alumni substantially outperformed the population of Texas higher education students on completion rates, baccalaureate graduation rates, marketable skills, student debt, ACT scores, and dual credit enrollment. To provide further direction and context, opportunities for Texas 4-H to build upon this success are provided in the recommendations section.

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Bios for the Authorship Team have been revised slightly since original submission. This document represents current affiliations and positions for all authors.



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