College Forward

College Forward
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Community Partnerships / Collective Impact,


College Forward’s near-peer coaching model leverages a trained mentor that boosts college access and success rates for Hispanic/underserved students. Using our CollegeCurriculum, a program delivery plan known as a “Service Blueprint”, and a schedule of progress goals known as “Milestone Chart”, students must meet a series of predetermined milestones, each a prerequisite for the next, to earn a postsecondary credential.

Program Description

Founded in 2003 as a college access program, College Forward matured along with its first class of 30 Hispanic students in Austin, Texas’ Hays High School adding completion services in 2005. In recent years, they have implemented three programs:

Success Partnerships: They collaborate directly with colleges to enhance student success with campus-based student mentoring services

CoPilot: A database was created to meet internal program management needs, CoPilot has allowed College Forward (and over 40 partner organizations across the nation to date) to identify and harness student information in ways that inform their ability to be highly responsive to student needs

Policy Work: College Forward is engaging in state and federal advocacy to bring the perspective of underserved students to lawmakers who govern college access and success.


Since inception, College Forward’s Hispanic students significantly outperform state benchmarks: 99% of Hispanic students apply to and are accepted to higher education, 82% submit FAFSA applications (47% statewide), 90% matriculate (compared to 44.7% of other Hispanic students in Texas), 85% persist from their first to second semester in college (three percentage points higher than our program average), and 53% complete postsecondary education, more than four times the rate for Hispanic students in Texas. College Forward’s first success partnership cohort at Lone Star (2014--2015), had a year--to--year retention rate of 55.1 comapred to a matched cohort retention rate of 43%. College Forward’s cohort were retained at a 36% increase over a comparative cohort. For students enrolled in College Forward’s second cohort (2015--2016), 60.2% of those students were retained between the Fall 2015 and Fall 2016 semester, in comparison to 51% of a matched cohort during that same time frame.