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Success Boston recommits to the goal of a 70 percent postsecondary completion rate for BPS graduates

15 Massachusetts colleges join in effort to hit threshold for all demographic groups

May 2, 2022

Boston – Boston Mayor Michelle Wu was among those on hand today at the Bruce C. Bolling Building as Success Boston, Boston’s citywide college completion initiative, recommitted to the goal of a 70 percent college completion rate for Boston Public Schools graduates. The announcement reaffirms the original goals of the initiative, with an added dimension – the 70 percent benchmark applies to all student groups, including those historically marginalized, not just the overall class.

Success Boston logo

To date, the Success Boston program has had remarkable success raising the college completion rate for BPS graduates from 35 percent for the BPS Class of 2000 to 54 percent for the BPS Class of 2012, nearly doubling the raw number of BPS students completing postsecondary work. “Today, we celebrate this progress, but we also recognize that there's more work to do,” said Dr. Pam Eddinger, President of Bunker Hill Community College and a co-chair of Success Boston. “We call this occasion a strategic refresh because, after a dozen years, we must pause, consider our work, and be decisive in our future direction.”

Central to the future direction is a collective will to tackle structural barriers and build asset-based systems that deliver equitable outcomes, serve students effectively, and value their cultural wealth. To that end, Success Boston partners are making four key commitments toward improving policy, building better programs, and redesigning systems to prioritize the success of Black and Latinx students. They are:

To develop a deep and shared understanding of the barriers that students, particularly Black and Latino male students, face and the policies and practices in our systems that create these barriers.

To coordinate and accelerate system-level change, including asset-based interventions, share lessons learned with our constituencies, and advocate for piloting and scaling effective integration into institutional contexts.

To develop and collectively advocate for a shared Success Boston policy agenda at the city, state, and federal level that advances equity-minded practices, increases and allocates resources equitably, values students’ cultural wealth, and increases program completion.

And to continue to close equity gaps by providing near-term asset-based success strategies to assist students as they navigate through and across systems.

More than 7,000 BPS graduates have participated in Success Boston coaching programs in their first years in postsecondary education. In addition to the overall increase in postsecondary completion, Success Boston students are 11 percent more likely than their peers to persist into their second year of college, and 21 percent more likely than peers to persist into a third year of college.

The 15 Massachusetts higher education institutions that have joined Success Boston in these collective commitments include:

Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology
Boston University
Bunker Hill Community College
Framingham State University
Harvard University
Massachusetts Bay Community College
Northeastern University
Roxbury Community College
Salem State University
Suffolk University
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Boston
University of Massachusetts Lowell
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Wentworth Institute of Technology