Explores the practices, challenges, and policy implications of the New York City’s College Access and Success Initiative (CAS), which focuses on improving the odds of success for young people who have graduated from failing high schools, are recent immigrants, or who have dropped out and then attained a GED.

Through a case study of the New York City’s College Access and Success Initiative (CAS), the report seeks to build understanding of: The needs and strengths of young people who are underrepresented in higher education and who too rarely complete a credential; and the ways that youth development organizations and colleges—institutions that rarely work together and that have differing strengths, sizes, and professional cultures—can collaborate to improve student success. The report describes the CAS program elements and the partners roles. The partners included the Youth Development Institute, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, and the New York City College of Technology. (Abstractor: Website Staff)

Full Publication Title: The Best of Two Worlds: Lessons from a Community College-Community Organizations Collaboration to Increase Student Success

Major Findings & Recommendations

• “By spring 2009, CAS students had earned an Associate's degree at twice the rate of the comparison group: 21 percent of CAS students who entered City Tech in fall 2005 or winter 2006 completed an Associate's degree by spring 2009. Seventy-five percent of CAS students who earned an Associate's degree between fall 2005 and spring 2009 have moved into Bachelor's degree programs” (Executive Summary). • The primary person approach: Staff members connected each young person to an adult who guides, advises, brokers, coordinates and advocates for him or her throughout the entire course of the program. CAS adapts that assigning two people, one at the CBO and one at the college, to each participant. The CBO counselor focuses on personal issues and supports, while the college counselor helps students navigate college. (Executive Summary) • Once CAS students enroll in college, both counselors closely monitor their grades and academic progress. Tutoring services are available at both the college and the CBO for CAS students. In addition to weekly phone calls, students are reached through emails, text messages and instant messages. (Executive Summary) • College-friendly employment: Jobs at the CBO or the college often connect directly to the student's education and their supervisors reinforce the importance of schooling versus pulling them away from it. (Executive Summary) • Social and Developmental Preparation: the CBO ran workshops that introduce the young participants to skills that related to academic work (how to organize time, how to address conflicts, how to advocate for themselves, how to seek help. (Executive Summary) (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)