Starting from the belief that young people are an indispensable part of the solution to this country’s counseling crisis, our research examines both challenges and promising practices related to implementing and scaling a peer-to-peer approach to expanding advising capacity in public institutions. Our studies explore the impact peer-to-peer advising programs have on outcomes for students served and on the postsecondary pathways and career development of peer leaders themselves. Through these studies we advocate for the expansion of peer-to-peer advising models across the country and we support institutions to train and pay young people to support their peers on the path to college and career success.

The Triple Impact of Peer-to-Peer Postsecondary Advising Programs

Young people encounter inequities accessing postsecondary advising and career development. In this report, we demonstrate how best practice peer-to-peer postsecondary advising programs are a cost-effective solution that simultaneously expands advising capacity, creates internships, and generates a diverse talent pipeline for the counseling and advising fields.

Neer-Peer Counseling Impact on Mentor’s College Outcomes

Article: Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement (2023)

Using quantitative methods, this article finds that CARA-trained Peer Leaders are nearly twice as likely to persist in college as students with similar characteristics who did not participate in our peer-to-peer advising programs.

Making Transfer Students Visible

Blogpost: Inside Higher Ed (2023)

Profiling CARA’s work at 4 CUNY campuses, this blog describes the ways peer-to-peer advisors can support incoming transfer students and make the obstacles these students face more visible for campus staff.

Don’t just listen to students, employ them

Op-Ed: City Limits (2022)

As Eric Adams began his mayoralty, CARA called on him to provide stable funding for peer leadership as a strategy for postsecondary access in NYC.

At-risk youth aren’t the problem–but they can be part of the counseling solution

Op-Ed: The Hechinger Report (2020)

CARA’s co-founders describe the importance and efficacy of using peer-to-peer advising to support postsecondary access and success.

Peer-Led College Access Programming: A Profile of Student Success Centers in NYC

This report documents the evolution of “Student Success Centers.” This model of collaboration between schools and CBOs–with trained high school students at its center–grew out of advocacy efforts by young people. This report defines best practices for Student Success Centers and explains why their existence & growth is central to post-secondary access in NYC.

Additional Research & Policy Writing