AUSTIN, Texas – June 13, 2016 – College Forward, an Austin nonprofit, is turning ideas into action. With its 2016 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Commitment to Action, the organization has outlined a multi-year project that will increase college degree attainment for students across Texas. Over the next three years, College Forward will expand its impactful Success Partnerships program, partnering with two-year and four-year higher education institutions to deliver culturally-relevant and individualized academic, financial, and socio-emotional mentoring to the state’s most under-resourced students. College Forward will also deliver tools, training, and technology solutions to partner institutions, enabling them to adopt College Forward’s mentoring expertise for students in need.
By fully integrating with a partnering institution’s staff, faculty, and administration, Success Partnerships strengthens existing retention strategies while also encouraging a powerful culture of student success. Success Partnership institutions have reported significant increases in performance and persistence.
College Forward will triple the number of partnerships across Texas and provide critical services to more than 7,400 additional first-generation and low-income college students.
The Commitment to Action comes amid recent state and national calls to increase college persistence and completion rates, especially for the most challenged students. Despite efforts to boost degree attainment nationally, 46% of students who enroll in college do not graduate, and college completion rates vary by income: whereas 77% of students from the highest income quartile obtain bachelor’s degrees, only 9% of students from the lowest income quartile achieve similar results.
“It is an enormous honor to partner with CGI and participate in this important initiative to advance postsecondary success for first-generation and low-income college students. College Forward is thrilled to make this commitment and leverage thirteen years of experience to advance student success on a much larger scale,” said College Forward Executive Director, Austin Buchan. Buchan will join President Bill Clinton and nearly 1000 cross-sector leaders at the CGI Annual Meeting in Atlanta over the next two days to discuss and develop collaborative solutions to the most pressing global issues.
Through its commitment to scale Success Partnerships, College Forward promises to significantly accelerate the development of a national higher education system that is fully equipped to serve every student, regardless of economic or family background.
About College Forward
Founded in 2003, College Forward is a Texas-based college success organization. With a single goal — a postsecondary credential for every student — College Forward provides intensive mentoring for low-income and first-generation students. The organization serves more than 6,000 students in 18 high schools in Austin and Houston, and more than 120 colleges and universities across the nation. For 13 years, College Forward has taken an experimental, student-focused approach to addressing persistent problems in student achievement, garnering national acclaim for program outcomes: College Forward students enter higher education at twice the statewide average and earn degrees at more than five times the rate of their economically disadvantaged peers. College Forward is a proud AmeriCorps Texas program.
About Clinton Global Initiative America
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America brings together leaders from the business, philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors to develop solutions that encourage economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States. CGI America’s annual convening is designed to be a working meeting that promotes collaboration. Each CGI America participant makes a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable plan that supports increased economic growth and opportunity. To date, CGI America participants have made more than 500 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 2.4 million people.
Austin Buchan is available for interview.