Power of Coaching | City of Ideas

Posted 08/31/2017 by Elizabeth Pauley, Sr. Director, Education to Career and Ted McEnroe, Director of External Communications

Success BostonThis week, the Boston Foundation joined with the Boston Public Schools, and a host of other partners at Bunker Hill Community College, UMass Boston, and nonprofit partners including the Boston Private Industry Council, uAspire, the Bottom Line, and a host of other nonprofits and higher education partners to kick off Success Boston for the 2017-2018 academic year.

More than 150 students - welcomed by Bunker Hill Community College President Dr. Pam Eddinger, as well as a wide array of coaches, leaders and staff - explored workshops and built connections as they began their higher ed journey.

Since its founding in 2008, Success Boston has provided coaching to more than 4,000 BPS students to get them ready, into and through college, and then connected to careers.

It’s a robust system built to address 5 student needs.

1. Students need preparation.
The Success Boston process starts even before students set foot on campus. Colleges work with BPS works to get all students ready to succeed in their postsecondary pursuits.  They partner with colleges and nonprofit partners to help students prepare for college, to identify students, share information with them through BPS College Month in October, and together support work with the schools to get students as they to apply to, and enroll in be ready for college attendance. Nonprofits also help students apply for financial aid and develop a plan for paying for college.

2. Students need partners.
A large percentage The majority of Success Boston students are the first in their family to attend college. It’s an exciting milestone, but it means students may lack the family support systems to help them navigate what can be a complex and difficult system. By bringing together nonprofit and education partners around students - we build a system with student needs at the center to help them succeed.

3. Students need financial and academic support.
Colleges are not simple systems, and often even the best-prepared students academically can struggle making their way through deadlines and demands. The financial aid system, too, may be the most intimidating piece of the college attendance process. The SB coaches pay particular attention to making sure students can manage the financial documentation needed to get and continue loans, find grants and secure funds for books and other expenses.

Success Boston coaching graphic4. Students need direction.
Colleges are unique places. Each college has different resource systems, designed to help students but sometimes difficult for students to navigate. Experienced coaches understand the processes and know the players, and can refer students in the right direction.

5. Students need a network.
Even with the best resources, a college career can be derailed by small and large issues. A lost job, a family illness or even an expired T pass can make continuing in school difficult. By building personal connections, Success Boston coaches keep students from simply getting lost in the system - and the network of students in the Success Boston cohort gives students a ready array of peer connections.

Coaching demonstrates results. An interim report out this spring from Abt Associates found that students within Success. Boston had higher GPAs and were more likely to stay in school and continue their financial aid than their peers. So as we head into another year of the program - we thank our coaches and partners, and salute the thousands of students who are getting through. You’re the future and we’re proud to be there with you.