Bottom Line was founded in 1997, and currently provides college retention supports to more than 1,200 New York City students. The three-year award to Bottom Line supports the organization in adapting and innovating its current program model in order to support transfer students for the first time. This new initiative serves low-income, first-generation college-goers who are graduating from CUNY community colleges with associate degrees and are entering one of several CUNY senior colleges. Through this program, the students receive both summer transitional programming as well as comprehensive ongoing support during their time at their respective senior colleges. The project aims to increase bachelor’s degree attainment significantly for the students served, and also has potential for broader impact on the field’s understanding of how to serve transfer students more effectively.
The City College of New York is the oldest of the CUNY campuses, and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership enrolls nearly 20% of City College’s undergraduate students. The one-year award to the Colin Powell School allowed it to replicate Project Win-Win, during which it worked to identify, re-engage, and support students who were fewer than 12 credits away from graduation, but had abandoned their studies. This project aimed to assist students in the target group in returning to school and earning degrees quickly. Additionally, it facilitated the identification of non-academic barriers to graduation in order to improve internal processes that will benefit students, and ultimately improve completion rates.
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation has been providing college access services to students in the community of Cypress Hills, Brooklyn since 2000, and has more recently expanded its services to include college retention and completion programming. This three-year award enables Cypress Hills’ well-established peer mentor program to integrate targeted counseling to support its students in successfully transferring from two-year to four-year colleges. This is the first local program to leverage peer counseling to help students plan for and transition to senior colleges, and will help to inform the field’s growing understanding of best practices connected to peer coaching and increasing bachelor’s degree attainment.
Founded in 1998, Student Leadership Network (formerly Young Women’s Leadership Network) runs a network of all-girls public schools in New York City, as well as offers a comprehensive college access and success program for young men and women called CollegeBound Initiative (CBI). The three-year award to CBI invests in a new project called The Closer. Based in part on Project Win-Win, The Closer is re-engaging several hundred program alumni who have left college with the equivalent of six or more semesters’ worth of credits, and providing support to help them to complete their bachelor’s degrees. The CCIF believes The Closer will help to identify and address some of the underlying non-academic barriers that often prevent students from graduating.