Moving America Forward

What If We Could Nearly Double the Graduation Rate of Community College Students With One Simple Idea?

January 3, 2014
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What If We Could Nearly Double the Graduation Rate of Community College Students With One Simple Idea?
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Offering more support and guidance dramatically increases success rates.

While 80% of community college students say their goal is to earn an associate’s degree in a two-year program, only a third go on to graduate with a certificate or degree within six years. While community colleges offer flexibility and accessibility, they often don’t have ways to give extensive support and guidance to the students who really need it. Which is one reason more community colleges may want to follow the example of the ASAP program at the community colleges of the City University of New York system. The Accelerated Study in Associate Programs initiative turns a community college education into a comprehensive, full-time commitment. The program helps pay tuition, loans books to students, places students in bi-weekly advising, provides extra tutoring, and both supports students and holds them accountable from remedial classes all the way through to their degree. Most importantly, the initiative teaches students to navigate an academic institution and how to plot a course to success, which the program is doing for itself — it’s already well on its way to its goal of a 50% graduation rate.

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