The City College of New York
The City College of New York was awarded a persistence grant during the College Completion Innovation Fund’s 2016 Grantmaking Cycle to identify, re-engage, and support students who are fewer than 12 credits away from graduation, but have abandoned their studies. This project also aimed to pinpoint and correct systemic non-academic barriers to graduation, developing a set of eight recommendations that will impact almost 13,000 students annually and will shape future degree attainment at the college. Most of these recommendations were implemented during the 2017-18 academic year and included:
- Establishing a protocol for digitizing student records, enabling staff to give students precise and timely advice on what they must do in order to graduate the following semester
- Switching to “opt-out” rather than “opt-in” graduation application procedures
- Creating alerts that notify students and advisors when second semester juniors have unfulfilled general education requirements
- Creating alerts that notify advisors when students fail a “high stakes” requirement
- Establishing a stronger connection between core/pathways advising and major advising in part by relocating faculty office hours to the advising office to collaborate with professional advising staff
NYC Outward Bound Schools
NYC Outward Bound Schools is a community-based nonprofit organization that was founded in 1987 and currently works in 10 schools across the five boroughs. It was awarded a two-year persistence grant during the 2015 Grantmaking Cycle of the College Completion Innovation Fund but has remained an important partner in GNYC’s work. NYC Outward Bound Schools developed a “Text to Success” resource, detailing the most effective methods for implementing successful texting campaigns to promote college enrollment and persistence. This document was shared at a GNYC event in December 2017 and continues to be distributed to its partners—both at CBOs and within CUNY—who are seeking to incorporate text nudging into their programming.
Professor Ryan Yeung of Hunter College, with the assistance of his graduate students, coded and studied the SignalVine text messages in order to identify trends in the types of messages that most effectively prompt student response. Professor Yeung found that 56% of students responded to any given text message, and that the largest number of students responded to the following topics: financial aid (20%), course registration (12%), and office hours (9%). In addition, he found that, holding all else constant, participating in the texting program resulted in a 55 percentage point increase in a student’s probability of college enrollment, when compared to those students not participating in the texting program.
Hostos Community College
Hostos Community College was awarded a remediation grant during the 2015 Grantmaking Cycle of the College Completion Innovation Fund for interventions serving more than 600 students that are designed to increase pass rates in remedial and gateway courses. The Supplemental Instruction component of the intervention stimulated significant increases in student academic performance:
- Depending on the semester, students who participated in the intervention passed the course with a grade of “C” or better at a rate of 65%-74%, as compared to 46%-58% of students in the control group
- Students who participated in the intervention had significantly lower incomplete rates, 8%-12%, compared to 20%-28% for students in the control group