Funding Student Success: Creating Sustainable Student Supports

Inside Higher Ed

Modeling the City University of New York’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), Cincinnati State Technical and Community College launched CState Accelerate in 2015 to support low-income and first-generation students with wraparound supports.

To make the program sustainable, CState Accelerate needs continuous support from outside groups to allocate funds for student tuition and other costs. College leaders say its success metrics, student stories and enthusiasm from campus stakeholders have been critical to CState Accelerate’s continued work.

The program: The program first started in 2015, when the college participated with two other Ohio community colleges in a replication study evaluated by MDRC.

“We were pretty amazed at the success, and we were interested in continuing into the future,” Cincinnati State president Monica Posey says.

The program provides eligible low-income students with financial assistance to cover tuition, fees, books, software and remote learning tools. A dedicated full-time coordinator helps guide students through higher education and career exploration, and they receive additional supports as needed.....

.....The impact: Cincinnati State, along with Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College, saw participants in the pilot programs had higher earnings compared to their peers who did not participate, despite both groups having the same employment rates, according to MDRC research.

Graduation rates among pilot participants rose 50 percent after six years, with 44 percent of program students earning a degree of any kind, compared to 26 percent of their peers who did not participate.

In the future, Cincinnati State leaders will track students’ progress after completing at the institution, evaluating their earnings and the number who successfully complete a four-year degree.....

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