The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded The City University of New York (CUNY) with a $2.5 million grant to serve transition aged foster youth who are interested in pursuing an associate’s degree within the City system.
CUNY will establish strategic partnerships with foster care agencies and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services to create a pipeline for 325 foster youth to participate in the CUNY Start and Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP).
The CUNY Start program serves young people who have a diploma or GED and are interested in pursuing higher education but need additional remedial services. The program supports students in New York City by providing academic support and college preparedness courses prior to the start of the official academic year.
Once this cohort has completed CUNY’s remedial “Start Program,” they will be funneled into ASAP, which provides a range of financial, academic, and personal supports. Among the benefits offered to ASAP participants:
- Comprehensive and personalized advisement
- Career counseling
- Tuition waivers
- Subway fare
- Textbook vouchers
ASAP students also receive additional support as they approach graduation to help them transfer to a four-year college or enter the workforce.
Transition-aged youth will receive advisement and coaching by an individual adviser knowledgeable in both foster care issues and college navigation. Their advisor will be able to link students to academic assistance, provide increased coordination between child welfare and college systems, as well as develop internships and career opportunities.
Chancellor James B. Milliken stated in a press release: “We are profoundly grateful to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for this groundbreaking grant that offers foster youth the chance to succeed at CUNY and pursue meaningful careers.”