The Success Brokering Model: How Nonprofit/Higher Education Partnerships Boost College Graduation Rates


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The Success Boston College Completion Initiative is a multi-sector initiative including Boston Public Schools (BPS), six nonprofit agencies and multiple higher education institutions focused on doubling the college persistence and graduation rates of Boston public high school graduates. One strand of Success Boston - “Getting Through”- involves nonprofit staff serving as on-campus “coaches,” providing individualized support to BPS graduates at six local colleges and universities where a majority of BPS graduates attend. The Brokering Model is one of three models of nonprofit/higher education partnerships within Success Boston. The strengths and challenges of the Brokering Model will be discussed, case studies will be presented, and participants will have the opportunity to discuss best practices from their own efforts to develop campus partnerships that support the retention of low-income, first generation students in higher education.

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  • Introduce Ourselves and our Orgs.
  • Three strands of the Success Boston Initiative– Getting Ready, Getting In, Getting Through.Getting Ready – focuses on AP preparation and college readiness in The Boston Public Schools, Curricular alignment/vertical teamingGetting In – 6 non-profit partners providing transition coaching on six college campuses where significant numbers of BPS grads attendGetting Through – A larger consortium of Higher Ed Institutions developing strategies to improve retention and success of BPS grads. More info available on the Success Boston website.
  • Now that you have been introduced to the organizations, here is a more in depth description of the organizations participating in the Success Boston Initiative. These slides describe each organizations coaching philosophies.
  • Coaches provide one on one support for students through their transition from high school to college. Depending on the student, the coach, or the college; the transitional coaching can take different forms.
  • The differences in the coaching models vary based on the who, the where, and the how.
  • Share relevant stories about connections built on campuses and how colleges/universities have worked side by side.
  • More Macro explanations – over all benefits
  • Without that scholarship I may not have been able to attend school this past Fall. Since then, Miguel has been there to support me the entire year.
  • Allows non profits to share resources and collaborate both with each other and with the Colleges and UniversitiesAbility to learn and understand campus cultures, policies and procedures; Coaches personal referral to campus supports increase the likelihood of student follow throughOn campus enables coaches to resolve challenges faster and more efficiently Increases awareness of programs already being provided by partnering organizationsCoaches expertise in dealing with life situations accompanied by College Advisors expertise of campus resources, provides a greatly likelihood of successful student completion
  • In Success Boston, we began tracking persistence (re-enrollment in semesters) as a measure of college success and quickly realized how interrelated progress (credits to a degree) and performance (GPA) was with college success/graduation.Progress – remedial coursework does not gain credits toward a degree, so despite persistence, it doesn’t mean they are getting ‘closer’ to the diplomaPerformance – GPA included remedial courses and general ed courses; our experience coaching has taught us that mastery of skill (doing well in school) is very connected to continuous enrollmentWe track beyond what NSC doesThis chart tracks all three measures for the three cohorts of students.Things to note:Number of Students – Cohort 1 & 2 are the number of students we were coaching that enrolled in either the fall/spring of their first year out of high school, although most here fall enrollees, appx 80%; Cohort 3 – this was our cohort that enrolled in the fall after graduation that started in the fall after they graduated from high school (((Positive spin – recruitment was easiest in year 3 b/c of SB recognition and great partnerships with BPS/Colleges/etc)))Enrolled in semester 1 – how many students actually enrolled (vs just showed interest, went through the steps, but never fully enrolled)Enrolled in semester 2- how many of the students who started (semester 1) enrolled continuously in the next semester. (((data shows that for cohort II the persistence numbers suffered, reason? Unsure)))Enrolled in 3rd semester – this is where we really highlight the effect of the coaches. The majority of students are staying in! national average is lower than this (I’ll try to get exact #). Cohort III is TBD b/c they are only in their 2nd semester right now.For GPA and Progress data, we are not comparing apples to apples (this is largely because of our data system and the limitations we had year 1 and half of year 2 that used to make it challenging to analyze grades). The following points only apply to bottom 2 rows in chart.Cohort 1 data – Spring 2011 is the last semester tracked (ie: after students’ 3rd or 4th semester in college, depending on when they started)Cohort 2 data – Fall 2011 is the last semester tracked (ie: after 2 or 3 semesters in college)Cohort 3 data – Fall 2011 is the last semester tracked (after 1 semester in college)Impt to note – these numbers show we are (collectively) doing better. If after multiple semesters, only 35% or 39% are on track to graduate from earlier cohorts, but 43% are on track after just 1 semester, that shows great progress. Additionally, just the sheer fact that numbers are going up (despite the fact that 43% is still low), is promising. It’s also good to provide some context that a high percentage of our students are taking a full developmental course load in their first (and many times second) semester of their freshmen years.
  • The difficult economy combined with the fact that their father had recently stopped working due to a medical situation, left both brothers struggling to cover transportation costs to-and-from school as well as food costs once on campus. Working with their Success Boston Coach, they were able to identify an emergency fund at BHCC called Dream Keepers which was created to helped support students and their families in difficult times. Not only did their SB coach helped them edit the essay they had to write to qualify for the emergency assistance, but assisted them in getting connected to the right personnel on campus so they could turn in their application. Both young men qualified for the emergency assistance, and completed their first semester with a combined GPA of 3.0. This is an excellent example the brokering model and how the SB Coach got his students connected to existing resources on BHCC’s campus. More importantly these two young men are thriving in their second semester at BHCC, and on track with their educational goals.
  • The Success Brokering Model: How Nonprofit/Higher Education Partnerships Boost College Graduation Rates

    1. 1. The Success Boston Initiative Brokering Model:How Non-Profit/Higher Education Partnerships Boost College Graduation Rates Presented at National Partnership for Educational Access 4th Annual Conference – April 19th-20th, 2012 10:15am – 11:30am 1
    2. 2. Introductions Boston Private Industry Council, TERI & Bunker Hill Community College Matthew Power-Koch, Postsecondary Transition Coach, Boston PIC provides coaching, navigation and connections to college, community and employment resources. Miguel Colón, Education Advisor, TERI provides both city-wide and school based college access programs throughout the cities of Boston and Brockton, MA. Melissa Holster, Director of Financial Aid, Bunker Hill Community College, Co-chair of the Success Boston financial aid team and serves as the BHCC liaison to Success Boston coaches. 2
    3. 3. Key Findings of the ReportNumber and Percent of College Enrollees Who Obtained a Degree 7Years After High School Graduation (A) (B) (C) College Graduates as %Groups Attendees Graduates Of AttendeesAll 1,904 675 35.5Men 813 276 33.9Women 1,091 399 36.6Asian 275 143 52.0Black 884 249 28.2Hispanic 326 78 23.9White 366 195 53.3Exam School 618 366 59.2All Other School 1,286 309 24.0Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University & Boston Private Industry Council. 2008. Getting to the FinishLine: College Enrollment and Graduation: A 7-year Longitudinal Study of the Boston Public Schools Class of 2000. 3
    4. 4. Mayor Menino’s Success Boston Goals 50% increase in the college graduation rate for college enrollees from Boston Public Schools’ (BPS) graduating class of 2009  52% of those who enroll will complete a 2- or 4-year degree within six years of high school Double the college graduation rate for college enrollees from BPS high school graduating class of 2011  70% of those who enroll will complete a 2- or 4-year degree within six years of high school 4
    5. 5. Success Boston Initiative Overview Mayors OfficeBoston Public Schools, The Boston Foundation and Non Profit Partners, Task Force of Higher Education, Private Industry, & Non-Profit Partners Getting Ready Getting In Getting Through Non-Profit College Transition Partners: ACCESS Boston Private Industry Council Bottom Line Freedom House Hyde Square Task Force TERIBoston Public Schools: Key Higher Education Higher Education Institutions:Higher Education Partners Institutions: UMass Boston (Lead) Bunker Hill Community College a consortium of 37 Higher Education Roxbury Community College Institutions Massachusetts Bay Community College Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology University of Massachusetts Boston Suffolk University 5
    6. 6. Transitional Coaching Organizations & Coaching Philosophies Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) The PIC is extending its high school career specialist model to help students persist in college while continuing to live in the community. PIC postsecondary coaches help students connect to valuable campus and community resources, navigate deadlines and requirements, and balance the demands of school, life, and employment. PIC postsecondary coaches teach life skills and help students make the connection between degree attainment and career opportunity. TERI TERI Education Advisors supports the young adults in our program to develop the self-understanding, confidence, leadership skills, and social awareness to successfully navigate their path through education and life. We use an affirming strength-based approach, involve parents as much as possible, and help students build and utilize a network of resources to sustain their ongoing achievement. 6
    7. 7. Transitional Coaching Organizations & Coaching Philosophies Bottom Line Bottom Line has a one-on-one, relationship-focused coaching philosophy. We provided outcomes-based support delivered by full-time staff members, which is driven by a rigorous curriculum. In-person support is central to our programs, and that is supplemented by frequent e-mail and phone communication. Freedom House (PUSH) Preparing Urban Students for Success in Higher Education PUSH provides holistic support to students as they transition from high school to college via a Summer Institute, On and Off Campus advising and a Mentor Network. PUSH staff guide students through the academic, financial and social realities of college. Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) HSTF‟s mission is to develop the skills of youth and their families so they are empowered to enhance their own lives and create a safe and vibrant community. The Near-Peer approach is a leadership model where older teens serve as teachers and mentors to younger teens with a strong emphasis on personal experiences and relationships. 7
    8. 8. Transitional CoachingThe common threads:  Relationship building o Beginning senior year o Continues with regular meetings through college  Navigation o Support through summer preparation o Guidance through college infrastructure  Case Management o Assessing needs o Crisis resolution 8
    9. 9. Transitional CoachingWho  Coaches can be: o Adults (more of a mentor role) o College students (near peer focus)Where  Coaches can build relationships with students by: o Community-based with frequent visits to campus (external) o Having a fixed space on campus (internal/embedded)How  Coaches can support students through: o Brokering opportunities and services o Connection building o Modeling behaviors 9
    10. 10. What is the Brokering Model?Connecting students to resources on campus  Financial Aid offices  Student payments  Academic Advising  Tutoring and Academic Support Services  Registration and course selection  Career Services  On campus student groupsConnecting students to resources off campus  Financial resources – grants, scholarships, budget management  Housing  Employment assistance 10
    11. 11. Coaching / ServicesLife Skills  Time Management  Family and home issues  Career / Job counseling  Personal / Professional BoundariesAcademic Skills  Study Skills  Schedule Management  Class selection  Academic ProgressCommunication and Advocacy Skills  Self Advocacy  Problem Solving / Conflict Resolution  Communication with adults and follow up  Networking 11
    12. 12. Benefits for Students Bridges high school guidance counselors and college based supports Summer transition assistance Flexibility to meet student needs Mentors that advocate and model effective behavior Establish a culture of college completion Goal setting, life mapping, awareness of course sequence and degree requirements 12
    13. 13. Case StudyGabriel joined the Success Boston Initiative in the Summer of 2011 aftergraduating from BPS in the Spring. “Last summer, I went to Belize on afamily trip and was unable to be at Bunker Hill in person to access myScholarship from my High School. After talking to my success BostonCoach Miguel, I was able to get in contact with my guidance counselor fromhigh school and work with the Financial Aid and Student Payment offices atBunker Hill to make sure my Scholarship went through.”- Gabriel, BHCC, Class of 2013 13
    14. 14. Bunker Hill Community CollegeAbout the College: Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is a multi-campus urban institutionlocated in the Charlestown section of Boston, Massachusetts. Bunker Hill enrolls over 13,000 students in day, afternoon, evening. Late-evening, midnight, weekend and web-based and distance learning courses eachsemester. BHCC is the largest community college in Massachusetts.Financial Aid at BHCC: 69% of BHCC degree seeking students apply for financial aid, and of those,75% are eligible for a federal Pell grant.BPS at BHCC: Over the past five years, enrollment of new Boston Public school students inthe fall semester has increased from 84 to 280 (233%) 766 freshmen students („11-‟12) are graduates of Boston Public high schools 14
    15. 15. OutcomesStudents are better served: Students easily navigate enrollment process High risk students are brought to administration attention soonerNetwork expansion includes other organizations with similarmissions: Working together in innovative ways through connections with third partyorganizationsSystemic change being built: Greater learning of partners through problem solving Adjusting infrastructure of statewide organization to involve greatercollaborative efforts 15
    16. 16. Additional Success Boston PartnershipsFinancial Aid Working Group: Two area-financial aid directors, ACCESS organization staff representatives, BPS , Director of College Readiness Initiatives, 10 financial aid directors and staff from Boston-area institutionsGoal: Standardize the ways in which institutions communicate their costs and financial aid awards to BPS graduates and other students. 1. Financial Aid Liaison  Created to have a staff member designated as a point-person for BPS students and graduates, BPS high school counselors, and nonprofits helping students plan for college  Designed to build consistency in information and contribute to overall retention efforts 2. Award Letter Supplement  Created to assist students in understanding award letter terminology and comparing out-of-pocket costs at multiple institutions  Shares internal and external resources to support students making college financial decisions  Designed to build consistency in information and contribute to enrollment and lower default rates 16
    17. 17. Outcomes of Financial Aid Working Group Financial Aid Liaison Position:  25 campus representatives committed for 2012-2013 award year  Collaborated with BPS, ACCESS on district-wide roll out plan  Ongoing professional development  Potential benefits• Award Letter Companion:  9 campuses committed for 2012-2013 award year  Initial student experiences  Overlap and collaboration with federal initiatives  Potential impact o Coaches analyzes award letters with 1500+ BPS seniors o 100-200 applicants to BHCC 17
    18. 18. Benefits for Non-Profits Maximizes resources and collaboration Identification of best practices, common tools and strategies On campus relationships Visibility and familiarity Complimentary expertise Referral of students and parents to the non-profits‟ community-based services 18
    19. 19. Data from first 3 Cohorts We measure Progress (accumulation of credits toward a degree), Performance (GPA), and Persistence (re-enrollment). Cohort II Cohort III Success Boston Results Cohort I (Class of (Class of (as of 4/2/12) (Class of 2009) 2010) 2011) Number of students in 282 288 308 Cohort Enrolled in semester 1 98% 97% 97% Enrolled in Semester 2 94% 86% 94% Re-enroll in a 3rd semester 85% * 82%** TBD Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or 77% 80% 83% higher On track to earn a degree in time and a half (as measured by credits earned 35% 39% 43% toward a degree each semester)*Based on Fall enrollees; according to the National Student Clearinghouse the rate is 87%. ** % based on Fall enrollees only. 19
    20. 20. Case StudyAldwayne and Delroy Demontegnac are two brothers who joined the SuccessBoston Initiative in the Summer of 2011 after graduating from BPS in the Spring.“We know what we have to do, but it helps to have a Coach, like Mr. PK, to keepus on track, and check-in on us to make sure we are successful.”- Aldwayne and Delroy – BHCC Class of 2013 20
    21. 21. Discussion Q&A 21