The Success Boston College Completion Initiative was launched in 2008 following the findings or a study conducted by Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies for the Boston Private Industry Council and the Boston Foundation. The study found that while the Boston Public Schools had one of the highest college enrollment rates in the country, only 35.5% of the students who enrolled in college earned an Associate’s o]r Bachelor’s degree within seven years.
Distressed by these disappointing college completion rates, Mayor Thomas M. Menino challenged the city to double the college completion rate for the BPS Class of 2011 and beyond. He called a press conference and was joined by the Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation, the Boston Private Industry Council and the University of Massachusetts Boston for the launch of Success Boston in November 2008.
In 2010, 38 Massachusetts colleges and universities accepted the invitation of Dr. Keith Motley, co-chair of the Mayor’s Success Boston Task Force and Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, to join the Success Boston College Completion Initiative, which aims to double the number of Boston Public School graduates earning a degree, beginning with the Class of 2011.
Success Boston supports academic programming and college advising activities at the high school level, so that students and their families are better positioned to make informed choices. It also works closely with Boston area colleges and universities to offer graduates of the Boston Public Schools the support they need to earn a degree and be prepared to enter the workforce.
Expanding the Success Boston Coaching Model
In April 2015, the Boston Foundation awarded nine grants, totaling $1.6 million, to expand the Success Boston coaching model. The grants add an additional 1,000 graduates of the Boston Public Schools to those served by Success Boston, helping students gain entry to college and remain in school through graduation. Funds for the grants were from a $2.7 million investment in the Boston Foundation made in September of 2014 by the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund (SIF). The SIF grants are designed to help increase the impact of innovative, community-based solutions that have compelling evidence of improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States.
Grantees include: Bottom Line, Boston Private Industry Council, College Bound Dorchester, Freedom House, Hyde Square Task Force, Match Beyond, Sociedad Latina, Steppingstone and West End Boys& Girls Club.