Where We’ve Been

CARA was founded in 2011 with the goal of developing programs, conducting research, and advocating for policies that would better support New York City public school students to and through college.

Co-Directors Janice Bloom and Lori Chajet used their previous 15+ years of working in NYC public schools, coupled with findings from doctoral research they conducted on college access and persistence for first-generation college students, to shape the organization and its agenda.

In its first year, CARA had two programs that served 8 high schools and reached approximately 1,000 students. In 2018, it has five program areas, serves over 90 schools, 9 colleges, and reaches over 19,000 New York City high school and college students per year.

Pre-CARA

2006: Urban Youth Collaborative launches campaign to start Student Success Centers (SSCs)

2007: First two SSCs launch in Brooklyn with Cypress Hills LDC at the Franklin K. Lane Campus and Make the Road NY at the Bushwick Campus

2010: College Inquiry curriculum developed and piloted at two schools in Brooklyn

2011

CARA is founded

CARA launches College Inquiry program at Fannie Lou Hamer High School in the Bronx

CARA supports opening of third SSC with New Settlement Apartments on the Taft Campus in the Bronx

CARA partners with Urban Assembly and At Home in College to create first College Bridge program in NYC

2012

CARA joins Expanded Success Initiative, growing its College Inquiry programming

CARA featured in What Kids Can Do for its College Bridge programming

2013

CARA partners with NYC DoE’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness to launch the first institute to help school teams strengthen their school’s college-going culture

CARA programs featured as “best practice” in Center for New York City Affairs report Creating College Ready Communities: Preparing NYC’s Precarious New Generation of College Students

2014

CARA partners with Graduate NYC and CUNY K-16 Initiatives to launch a peer-to-peer retention model: Strive for Success

CARA invited to join U.S. Department of Education’s “First in the World” Grant - Moving the Dial on Inequality Challenges: Broadening Student Access and Success and Transforming Institutions through Campus-Community Engagement in partnership with CUNY professor Michelle Fine

2015

CARA pilots full-year (12-month) College Bridge model with 15 high schools

2016

CARA supports NYC DoE’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness in launching College Access for All

CARA partners with FMYI to develop and launch EnrollNYC

CARA partners with ASAP to support the development of peer-to-peer component of its retention model

CARA staff doubles in size

2017

CARA partners with CUNY LINCT and NYC DoE’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness to design College Bridge for All program and train coaches to support matriculation into college at over 50 schools

CARA publishes revised College Inquiry curriculum, College Office Resources, & Resources for Leaders

CARA partners with NYC DoE’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness to establish five new multi-school campus SSCs with Cypress Hills LDC, Good Shepherd Services and East Side House Settlement

2018

Supported by a grant from the New York Community Trust, CARA begins research project on what takes to build a strong college access infrastructure in NYC public high schools

CARA launches train-the-trainer model to develop capacity of CBOs to run peer-to-peer college access programs

CARA’s programs featured as best practice in Center for an Urban Future’s report Degrees of Difficulty: Boosting College Success in New York City