CUNY’S ASAP To Be Replicated in Two More States

The City University of New York’s nationally acclaimed CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) to improve community-college graduation rates will be replicated in two more states – New York and California – through a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation “Moving the Needle” initiative.

CUNY ASAP will provide technical assistance to Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York and Skyline Community College in San Bruno, California to develop their own ASAP-like programs similar to replication efforts currently underway at three Ohio community colleges.

CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken said: “There is no higher priority at CUNY than supporting the success of our students. With community college degrees becoming ever more critical in our economy, we are excited about the success of our ASAP program in dramatically increasing graduation rates for our students. In addition, we are delighted to share what has worked so well at CUNY and we welcome inquiries from other college systems looking to improve students’ opportunities to obtain degrees and build careers. CUNY, the city and the state have such faith in the ASAP approach that we’re expanding our own program to 25,000 students by the 2018-2019 academic year; we’re including more science, technology, engineering and math majors and, as a bold experiment in 2018-2019, converting Bronx Community College into an ASAP institution for first-time, full-time freshmen.”

CUNY ASAP graduates more than half of its students within three years, doubling the national three-year graduation rate of 20 percent – an accomplishment no other program in the nation can match. ASAP requires full-time study, offers convenient class-scheduling options and supports transition to baccalaureate study or entry in the workforce. With generous city and state support, it removes financial barriers by waiving any gap between financial aid and the cost of tuition and fees, defrays the cost of textbooks and provides MTA MetroCards. It builds in personalized advisement, career counseling, and tutoring support for students with remedial needs or identified as struggling academically.

CUNY ASAP staff helped Westchester and Skyline develop their applications to the Arnold Foundation and will work closely with them over the next two years to guide planning and early implementation of their replication projects. In Fall 2018, Westchester expects to enroll 100 of its students, building to 400 total students over three years, while Skyline anticipates enrolling all 500 of its incoming first-time, full-time students into their ASAP-like program upon launch.

Those replication efforts will aim to replicate ASAP with high fidelity with some adjustments made for local contexts, as is the case with Ohio replication projects. In September, the independent research organization MDRC reported that students who were randomly assigned to at the three Ohio replication colleges in Spring and Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 “had better short-term outcomes, including positive effects on enrolling full time, earning more credits, and persisting into the second semester…. Like the CUNY ASAP findings, the early impacts in Ohio are among the largest MDRC has found in higher education evaluations.”

MDRC’s report on the ASAP replication demonstration in Ohio is at

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY School of Medicine, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 274,350 degree-seeking students and 260,000 adult and continuing education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.