Where are Public College Hartford Promise Success Stories?

by Brendan Feldgoise and Oliver Dahlen

Last updated on December 8th 2023

for Data Visualization for All
with Prof. Jack Dougherty
Trinity College, Hartford CT, USA


The partner organization we are working with is called Hartford Promise. Hartford Promise is a program that works with students in Hartford public schools in order to secure them college scholarships. The program seeks to provide Hartford students with financial resources, support, and key relationships in order to attend a college. The program also strives to create a college going culture amongst Hartford high school students as well as build a higher quality local workforce.

The information that we are examining is the percentage of students coming out of the Hartford Promise Program that successfully earned bachelor's degrees at public, four year institutions. This information is extremely valuable to our community partners. Through looking at this specific data, it may be possible for them to reform their practices to target specific universities versus others. The program will be able to better understand in which circumstances their students are succeeding in.

A key statistic we want to examine is the percentage of the Hartford Promise students at all four year public universities that earned bachelor's degrees compared with the total number of students from the program that attended those universities. This is an important statistic because if that percentage is much lower than the percentage of students earning bachelor’s degrees from outside of the program, then Hartford Promise can look to adjust what they do to strive to even that percentage out.

We also wanted to look a little bit deeper, so we chose to examine the success of students in four year public universities based on race. The category of race is one of many factors we could have looked into to help draw conclusions about where students are successful. However, with the data we were provided, this was the most obvious factor we could seperate the data by due to its accsesibility. By looking at race, Hartford Promise not only can better understand where their students are more successful, but also which race/etnicity of students are the most successful. This can help the program potentially look into how to help all students better achieve the objective of earning a degree.

Link to the Hartford Promise Website.


This visualization demonstrates the comparison between the students who earned, and did not earn a bachelor's degree at a public four year institution. This data is extremely important because it tells our community partners where their students are more versus less successful which could tell them which schools to emphasize to their students in the future. The table with a bar chart included not only allows us to demonstrate the raw numbers to see which school students earned Bachelors Degrees, but it allows us to make a comparison with that number to the number of students in total that attended that school from the program which gives us the ability to show percentages. This allows us to draw better conclusions about where Hartford Promise students are having more success because we can compare the success rate of students to the total number of students, the percentages, while also just knowing the raw number of students who earned bachelor's degrees.

This visualization showcases the different ethnicities of those who were in Hartford Promise and obtained degrees at public institutions. In order to make my data more accurate I divided the amount of students in Hartford Promise based on ethnicities that received degrees by the total number of participants in Hartford Promise based on their ethnicity. By normalizing the data, we were able to make the data more reliable. The number of participants in Hartford Promise that were asian were 6 while there were 45 participants that were hispanic, leaving a large disparity between the data. After normalizing the data, we figured out that white participants in Hartford Promise had the highest percentage of obtaining degrees at public institutions, with 6 participants obtaining seven degrees. This gave white students an 116% chance at obtaining a degree from a public institution. These numbers likely mean that one of the white students in Hartford Promise obtained 2 degrees at a public university, giving them a percentage larger than 100 percent. The second highest percent by ethnicity was hispanics with an 80 percent success rate at public universities. This number is significant considering the fact that there were more representatives of that ethnicity than any other in the data set with 45. Asian students in Hartford Promise had a 66 percent success rate while black students in Hartford Promise had a 53 percent success rate. This led us to conclude that of the ethnicities represented in Hartford Promise, black students that attended public colleges had the lowest success rate in terms of obtaining a degree. This is valuable information as it showcases to members of Hartford Promise which ethnicities may need more support and resources given to them in order to help them succeed. By offering more support to black students in Hartford Promise, their likelihood of obtaining degrees from public universities could increase.

For our third visualization, we focused on the universities that black students in Hartford Promise attended. We chose to focus on this specific ethnic group due to the fact that they had the lowest rate of obtaining a degree at public universities, so we wanted to track their academic journey. Our visualization consisted of a symbol map for every public university that a black student in Hartford Promise attended. The larger the circle on the map, the more students of color attended there. We also made it so once the viewer hovered over specific points on the map, there would be data such as the name of the university, total number of black students enrolled, total number of black students who obtained a degree as well as the degree rate. By including all this data viewers of our graph were given much more meaningful and accurate data. From the data we analyzed, we concluded that UCONN had the most black students from Hartford Promise with 16, with 13 of them obtaining degrees. This was good enough to give them an 81% degree rate. We found that the public university in this data set with the highest degree rate was Southern Connecticut State University with 200 percent. There was one participant that was black who attended this college and obtained two degrees, giving this institution a 200 percent degree rate according to our models. Both Manchester Community College and Eastern Connecticut University had zero percent degree rates, with Manchester Community having 6 participants and zero degrees and Eastern Connecticut University had two participants who did not obtain degrees. WIth this data we are showcasing to Hartford Promise that enrollment in public universities such as Southern Connecticut State University of University of Connecticut should be encouraged while enrollments in colleges such as Manchester Community College or Eastern Connecticut University should be discouraged due to their poor degree rate.


We pulled our data from the ethnicities tab in the data as well as the degree tab in the spreadsheet linked above.The data from this spreadsheet highlighted the statistics of the participants in Hartford Promise as well as how they fared in college. There were some uncertainties in regards to the type of degree that some of the participants of Hartford Promise received. There was a large amount of degrees within the spreadsheet that were classified as unknown degrees, making it unclear as to what type of degree some of the participants in Hartford Promise received, which skewed the data. Some participants were also classified as N/A or left their answer blank for their ethnicity, which made it harder to identify the ethnicity of each and every Hartford Promise participant that attended public colleges. We decided to take an in depth look into Hartford Promise participants' degree rate in public colleges based on ethnicities to get a more detailed understanding of the data presented to us. We decided to analyze ethnicity because the data didn’t offer us many other factors like socioeconomic status or age. By narrowing our data and focusing how different ethnicities within the data fared at college, we were able to tell a more accurate story with the data presented to us. By utilizing pivot tables, we were able to filter the raw data so it showed the total number of students from different ethnic groups that attended public colleges as well as the amount that obtained degrees. These pivot tables also allowed us to filter which specific public colleges black students in Hartford Promise attended and which of them obtained degrees from these universities. After filtering this data, we made our visualizations in datawrapper to showcase our findings.