The College Crusade of Rhode Island

College Crusade of Rhode Island
State
Rhode Island
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Access
Key Personnel
Program Focus
College Prep,
Mentoring

Overview

The College Crusade is Rhode Island’s largest college access program aimed at increasing high school graduation, college readiness, and college completion for students from the state’s low-income communities. They are focused on reducing remediation rates among college-going students, promoting early college coursework, and improving families’ knowledge of postsecondary options. Latino students make up 70% of the students served with a majority of students identifying as first-generation and living predominantly in Spanish-speaking homes.

Program Description

Students enrolling in the College Crusade in the 6th grade receive ongoing services through to their undergraduate college years. They provide personalized support through 29 advisors who operate in 37 middle and high schools and at the state’s three public colleges. Advisors are full-time college readiness professionals, many of whom share similar lived experience with their students. Theyprovide over 60 programs to meet students’ academic, social and emotional development, career exploration and college preparation needs. College Crusade also provides direct college scholarships and have awarded nearly $19 million in cash and donated scholarships to 2,175 Latino students.

They serve over 1,400 families a year though one-on-one meetings, parent councils, family forums, and 100 workshops that build parents’ financial literacy skills and capacity to advocate for their children’s success. All family engagement programming is presented by native speakers in both Spanish and English.

Outcome

Between 2010 and 2017, students’ on-time high school graduation rates increased from 69% to 86% and now exceeds the state rate (84%). During the same time period, students’ immediate college enrollment rates increased from 50% to 84%, well above the state rate (59%). Students’ first-year college persistence rates have exceeded the rates for all students at the state’s public colleges for over a decade, most recently by 8 percentage points (84% vs. 76%).

Analysis by Drexel University finds, from the point of entry in sixth grade, Latino students in their program are 7.4% more likely to graduate high school on time, 27% more likely to immediately enroll in college, and 43% more likely to persist to a second year of college than Latino students in the comparison group.

Findings among Latino students are similar to overall findings for College Crusade students vs. comparison group students, where 11% are more likely to graduate high school on time, 30% are more likely to enroll college immediately after graduation, and 39% are more likely to persist to a second year of college.