Our Research & Policy Work

CARA conducts research on critical issues in the fields of higher education access and success.

Our goals are to:

  • Model and share best practices in program creation, expansion and evaluation
  • Advocate for city, state, and federal policies that create more equitable pathways to and through college for underserved students in New York City
  • Contribute to theoretical understanding of the social forces that create and perpetuate educational inequity

We draw on quantitative, qualitative, and participatory research approaches to elevate issues of educational justice in the communities where we work, and publish our findings in a range of arenas.

We leverage what we learn to inform practitioners and policymakers.

We conduct research in the schools and communities where we work.

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.

  • The DoE has embraced CARA’s Right to College Student Success Center model, using NYC DoE’s College Access for All funding to open five new SSCs around New York City. CARA has trained the Youth Leaders and CBO staff working in these centers and consulted with the DoE about school/CBO partnership.

    Additionally, in 2018 CARA is partnering with Cypress Hill LDC and New Settlement Apartments so that they can train their own Youth Leaders for the 2018-19 school year.

  • 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.