Report & Blog Series: Building School Capacity to Support Students’ Postsecondary Pathways

Policy Brief CoverThis report – and accompanying blog series – is the result of three years of research at seven NYC public high schools working to create an effective college access infrastructure to serve low-income, first-generation college students.

Drawing on dozens of interviews and observations, the report identifies three areas as especially important for creating this infrastructure: Curriculum Implementation, Professional Development, and Counseling Support. It also finds that young people – trained and paid “peer leaders” – can play a critical role in college access work by adding additional counseling capacity and serving as credible messengers who can reach students in ways that adults cannot.

Participating schools were all engaged in both CARA’s College Inquiry and College Bridge programs. Over the course of the period studied, the schools saw an 11% increase in postsecondary enrollment, with the schools serving the least resourced students seeing even larger gains.

Read the report


This series of five blogs – published in partnership with the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) – describes how educators can put the report findings into practice.