CARA’s College Bridge program addresses summer melt & the gap in college guidance for first-generation college students, low-income students, and students of color. It does this by training current college students, called Bridge Coaches, to support graduating high school students during their senior year and the summer before they matriculate into college.
Why College Bridge
30-40% of graduating seniors who are accepted to college and plan to enroll fail to do so in the fall.
Failure to matriculate can be traced to the many and complicated application and enrollment tasks that take place over the course of senior year and through the summer.
Our Program Model
Bridge Coaches have 70+ hours of comprehensive training in college access content.Table of Contents
Bridge Coaches develop a range of skills and content knowledge that they then use, alongside their unique near-to-peer perspective, to provide individualized support to graduating students. Trainings include the following topics:
-Financial Aid Applications
-Financial Aid Packages
Working with Students:
-Leading College Transition Workshops
-Supporting Undocumented Students
-Outreach and Engagement
CARA works with schools to help support the integration of College Bridge into existing college office work.
CARA brings College Bridge supervisors together several times a year to support the implementation of the program at their individual schools. CARA also provides:
- Counselor resources such as college match tools and income documentation forms
- Support with data-tracking and planning
- Opportunities to meet with high-level college admission professionals to discuss how admission policies impact students on the ground
- Provision of workshops for College Bridge coaches to run in senior classes
CARA has partnered with FMYI to develop a student-focused tracking tool that organizes all of the steps students need to complete from application to enrollment. All of our Bridge schools receive and are expected to use this tool.Learn More
Enroll NYC allows college offices to keep track of the multiple tasks that each student must complete in order to successfully enroll in college. This type of individual tracking is an essential function of college counseling for first-generation college students. Taken in aggregate, tracking this extensive set of metrics across our schools and programs allows us to dig deeper into understanding key benchmarks that may lead to increased rates of postsecondary enrollment. CARA then shares these findings with our school and community partners, as well as with the wider community in NYC and beyond.
Core Components for Program Partners
Recruit one College Coach/100 seniors from your pool of alumni
Pay College Coach NY State minimum wage for school-based work and training time
Make time available for College Coach to meet with students
College counselor should meet weekly with their College Coach throughout the school year
Attend CARA Supervisor meetings
Communicate with CARA as needed to support the program at the high school
Supervise College Coach at least 5 hrs/ week during the summer months
Provide space for College Coach to work and meet with students
Give College Coach access to student forms and information needed for college enrollment during summer
Track and report data using the EnrollNYC database during the program
Participate in assessments as needed by CARA
Complete evaluations of College Coach
College Bridge Reach & Impact
College Bridge School Partners
In collaboration with 30,000 Degrees:
In collaboration with Make the Road New York:
College Bridge Curriculum & Resources
CARA partner schools can log in to access College Bridge curriculum and resources by clicking the button below.