Bringing CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) to Ohio
Early Findings from a Demonstration in Three Community Colleges
The need to boost low community college graduation rates has come into national focus in recent years. Community colleges serve seven million undergraduates annually, a disproportionate number of whom come from disadvantaged communities. Yet among full-time, first-time, degree-seeking students entering public two-year schools, only 20 percent graduate within three years — even though that is a year more than what is considered “normal” for an associate’s degree. Low graduation rates are especially pronounced among low-income students, nontraditional students, and students who enter college without the math, reading, or writing skills required for college-level courses and who thus need to take developmental (remedial) courses.
In 2014, three community colleges in Ohio — Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Cuyahoga Community College, and Lorain County Community College — set out to address their low-income students’ needs thoughtfully and comprehensively. Mirroring national trends, graduation rates in these colleges had remained low despite strides made in access. Ready to undertake a new strategy to help students succeed, these colleges turned to a proven-effective program: CUNY ASAP, or Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, developed by the City University of New York.
This brief describes the ASAP demonstration in Ohio and the programs implemented by these three schools. Early findings from the evaluation show that the Ohio programs substantially increased first-semester full-time enrollment and credit accumulation, as well as persistence and full-time enrollment in the second semester.