Scaling Success: Lessons From the ASAP Expansion at Bronx Community College

Community College Research Center / June 2019

Scaling Success

In response to persistently low degree completion rates, the City University of New York (CUNY), with funding from the Office of the Mayor’s Center for Economic Opportunity, implemented the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) at six community colleges in 2007.1 At the time, less than 4 percent of CUNY community college students completed an associate degree within two years, and only 13 percent did so within three years (Strumbos, Kolenovic, & Tavares, 2016). ASAP was designed to improve completion rates by providing wraparound services for eligible students, including financial, academic, and personal support. ASAP students are required to attend college full-time (taking at least 12 credits per semester), meet regularly with an advisor, and enroll immediately and continuously in any required developmental courses.2 They are encouraged to take classes in the winter and summer when possible. In turn, they receive advising from an ASAP-dedicated advisor with a relatively small caseload, along with dedicated career and tutoring services. ASAP students take block-scheduled courses in their first year and may register for courses early to secure the ones they need for their majors.
They also receive financial supports, such as tuition waivers that cover gaps between financial aid and college tuition, free MetroCards for the New York City public transportation system, and textbook assistance.