CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP)

Program basics

  • Provides comprehensive services to full-time community college students to promote completion within 3 years and ultimate successful transition to work 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)

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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


Target population

Students enrolled in post-secondary education

Program cost

$3,440 per student per year

Implementation locations

  • New York City, with model replications in Ohio, California, Tennessee, and West Virginia

Dates active

2007-Present

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.

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