New Academic Support Program Aims to Boost Retention

January 25, 2024

Hudson Valley Community College has joined 12 other SUNY two-year colleges this year with the launch of a program aimed at significantly boosting college completion rates and helping students identify career pathways.

Thanks to a three-year SUNY grant, Hudson Valley will be replicating a student support program called ASAP (Accelerated Study in Associate Programs) that was first created at the City University of New York (CUNY) over a decade ago. ASAP is one of CUNY’s most successful retention and degree completion initiatives, with students in the program graduating at a rate more than double that of similar students.

“CUNY started this program around 17 years ago and they’ve done quite a few studies and found it to be very successful, so it’s been replicated in states around the country,” said Hudson Valley’s ASAP Program Director Katie D’Arcy.

ASAP (Advancing Success in Associate Pathways) at Hudson Valley kicked off this spring and is currently recruiting students in the Individual Studies (A.S., A.A.) academic degree program. Students in the program must meet certain eligibility requirements and agree to participate in a number of academic support and wellness activities throughout the year.

ASAP is designed to be a comprehensive wrap-around program for students that includes a dedicated academic advisor, access to academic coaching and career planning services and even access to outside community services, if necessary. Students in the program also receive a financial benefit if they successfully remain in the program. Textbook and student fee assistance and a monthly monetary stipend for eight months of the year will be provided to those who continue in the program.

“Student retention is a critical component to our success as an institution,” said President Roger Ramsammy. “The ASAP program provides a tested way to build a foundation of support to enhance student retention at Hudson Valley, and I am excited to see the program grow over the next several years.”

“So many things can impact a student’s ability to be successful, so this program really takes a holistic approach to achieving that success,” D’Arcy said. “The goal of the program is to have students graduate on time or within three years.”

The program hopes to expand to students in other selected degree programs for the incoming Fall 2024 class.

The program is also being replicated at 12 SUNY four-year colleges and universities, starting this year. The effort at the four-year schools is being called ACE (Advanced Completion through Engagement).

Complete details on eligibility, services and contact information for Hudson Valley’s ASAP staff are available on the ASAP program’s webpage.

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