We leverage what we learn to inform practitioners and policymakers.
CARA uses a variety of data sources and methods to conduct rigorous evaluation of our programs’ effectiveness.
We draw on data from the New York City Department of Education and the City University of New York to quantitatively measure program impact on postsecondary access and success metrics. CARA also designs and conducts surveys, interviews, and focus groups with peer leaders, students served, and school or university staff. These data sources are analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods to assess shifts in process-oriented outcomes, such as knowledge about the landscape of higher education and attitudes toward college.
Our programs serve as a policy lab, building program models and sharing best practices to inform our partners and the field.
CARA consults with policy organizations doing research in the fields of colleges access and success, such as the Research Alliance, The Center for New York City Affairs, and Center for an Urban Future. Our programs have been featured in the following reports:
CARA is also a source for news media on college access topics. To see more click here.
Chajet, L. and Bloom, J. (December 2013): Education Funders Research Initiative: Assessing College and Career Readiness.
Chajet, L. and Bahl, T. (October, 2013). Youth Leadership for College Access Summer Institute 2013: Summary of Findings.
Cowan, L. and Chajet, L. (March, 2012). Walking the Same Hallways: Youth Leadership in College Access in NYC: A White Paper. Brooklyn Community Foundation.
Chajet, L. and Stoneman-Bell, S. (2009). College for All? Youth Lead the Way. Rethinking Schools.
Chajet, L. (2006). Transitioning from Small Schools to College: Putting Students in the Driver’s Seat. Horace. Volume 22, Number 1. Winter, 14.
We coach other organizations to develop peer-to-peer models, and collaborate with the NYC Department of Education and City University of New York to develop equitable system-wide approaches to college access and success.
We work directly with the NYC Department of Education and City University of New York to support their school development and peer leadership initiatives through coaching staff, sharing training materials, and co-designing program models. We also consult with community-based organizations to develop and implement peer-to-peer college access and success programs. Our consulting model includes supporting organizations through an apprenticeship model as they learn to do this work.
CARA has worked to train the staff of the NYC DoE’s College Access for All Initiative, using our professional development and college office tools to influence and support schools across New York City through this ambitious citywide initiative.
CARA has designed and facilitated coach training for NYC DOE’s College Access for All College Bridge for All initiative since its inception, and continues to consult with the DoE to expand this peer leader model across the city.
Beginning in 2014, with support from the Pinkerton Foundation, CARA partnered with CUNY’s K-16 to develop a peer leadership model for college persistence which has, in turn, influenced peer-to-peer retention programming across CUNY.
Since 2016, CARA has partnered with CUNY’s ASAP programs to design a peer leadership component of ASAP’s retention programs. CARA has consulted with central staff and trained ASAP’s peer leaders and campus staff, and will partner with additional CUNY and community-based retention programs in 2018-2019 to do the same.