About Success Boston
On November 17, 2008, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced Success Boston, a college completion initiative aimed at doubling the college completion rate for the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Class of 2011 and beyond. An unprecedented collaboration between the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation, numerous area nonprofits, and nearly 40 Massachusetts colleges and universities work together to ensure that BPS students are:
Removing academic barriers by increasing the curricular rigor of high school and enhancing students’ “college readiness.” BPS leads the effort to enhance academic preparation by introducing and expanding Advanced Placement courses, international baccalaureate programs, and credit recovery for at-risk students. The success of the Acceleration Agenda is critical to our outcomes.
Expand effective nonprofit programs that help students apply to, select, enroll in, and transition to 2- and 4-year institutions of higher education. The Boston Foundation selected community-based nonprofit partners to help high school students make the college transition by providing summer college preparation, ongoing financial aid advising, and transition coaching and mentoring.
Track student persistence, progress, performance, and ensure students receive the supports necessary to earn a degree prepared to enter the workforce. Boston area higher education partners committed to collect and report data on BPS students. They set measurable goals for increasing college graduation rates, and ensure the enhancement of their student support programs. Among them the most frequently attended colleges of BPS alumni.
Underlying the Getting Ready, Getting In and Getting Through approaches are workgroups with representatives from each of our sector participants to make systems changes that remove barriers to students’ success. The workgroups target:
Financial Aid - Help students and families file FAFSA forms, incorporate financial literacy into the high school curriculum, simplify and standardize student award letters to enable cost comparisons, identify and make campus financial aid liaisons accessible, and advocate for additional need-based aid (see the College Support Services Spreadsheet)
College Friendly Employment - Aid career awareness and goal-setting using labor market data, secure work and internship opportunities that support persistence rather than challenging it
Student Transitions – Connect with supports and resources on- and off-campus, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and financial aid process, learn time management to help balance school, work, and life, explore majors and careers
Curricular alignment - Implement Common Core and Massachusetts curriculum framework with rigorous content to reduce the need for developmental courses, revamp developmental education courses to expedite moving to credit-bearing courses, and conduct vertical teaming to align high school and college faculty expectations.