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ERIC Number: EJ1023720
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Moving the Completion Needle at Community Colleges: CUNY's Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP)
Linderman, Donna; Kolenovic, Zineta
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v45 n5 p43-50 2013
Despite enrolling almost half of all undergraduate students in the United States, community colleges have struggled for decades with low degree-completion rates. CUNY community colleges struggle with the challenge of low completion rates even when the degree timetable is expanded. According to the CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, within six years, 20 percent of first-time freshmen at CUNY community colleges had earned an associate degree, 8 percent had earned a bachelor's degree, and 9 percent were still enrolled. Poor academic preparation, confusion navigating degree pathways and campus culture, and competing demands such as family responsibilities and work are among the many reasons cited for low community college completion rates. Meeting the needs of students who enter community college with few academic, economic, and family resources is one of the most compelling problems in higher education today. How can community colleges address this challenge and become a part of President Obama's action plan to significantly increase US college completion rates by 2020? In 2007, CUNY and the Office of the Mayor's Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) established an innovative and comprehensive program designed to significantly increase the number of students who earn an associate degree within three years at CUNY's community colleges. Program features include: (1) financial resources to remove barriers to full-time study; (2) a limited number of degree pathways; (3) consolidated course scheduling; (4) cohort design; (5) immediate and continuous movement through any required developmental education; (6) use of winter and summer sessions; and (7) mandatory and intrusive student support services, including advisement, career development, and academic supports. ASAP's goal is to graduate half of its students within three years, more than double the graduation rates of fully skills-proficient CUNY community college students at the time of program inception. To date, the initiative has not only met but exceeded its target, with both skills-proficient and developmental-needs students graduating at more than double the rate of similar students. In this article, the authors detail key elements of the program that has made it such a success.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A