CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP)
Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- This strategy can help address educational disparities. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
- Provides comprehensive services to full-time community college students to promote degree completion within 3 years and facilitate successful transitions to employment or 4-year college
- Key features include intensive advising, tutoring, and counseling, alongside tuition waivers, funds to support textbooks and MTA cards, and priority class scheduling
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)
Proven (highest tier)
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse, Social Program That Work
Students enrolled in post-secondary education
$3,440 per student per year
- New York City, with model replications in Ohio, California, Tennessee, and West Virginia
- CUNY ASAP - Bronx, NY
Outcomes and impact
- Nearly doubled 3-year graduation rate
- Higher rates of credits earned, developmental requirements completed, and enrollment in 4-year colleges
Keys to successful implementation
- Adopt the ASAP model in full – the program components are designed to be mutually-reinforcing. Review CUNY ASAP’s overview of its model, structure, and replication strategies, especially when it comes to early-stage planning considerations.
- Partner closely with college and community leadership, including mapping out a long-term plan for program sustainability.
- Invest in the upfront costs necessary for program success, especially dedicated college staff delivering support and programming, along with a data management system to fully track implementation and outcomes.
- Recruit and engage students early – both through campus-based recruitment efforts and through partner institutions, such as community-based organizations, high schools, and GED/HSE programs.
- Provide comprehensive and personalized advisement with relatively small caseloads for each advisor (no more than 150 students).
- Set clear, ambitious graduation goals – at least 50% of program participants within three years or doubling the current graduation rate.
- Use performance data to regularly evaluate program effectiveness in areas such as enrollment, student engagement with program services, credit accumulation, and graduation rates.