Conexión Américas' College Success Program

Conexión Américas
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support


Conexión Américas’ vision for the College Success program is to help first-generation immigrant and refugee students in Nashville complete college and impact their families’ long-term success. The program’s primary goal is to equip first-generation Latino college students to persist in and graduate from college with career readiness. The program aims to increase students’ knowledge and confidence in applying to college, to connect students with enriching career exploration opportunities, and to build more understanding and capacity throughout their community about the specific needs and challenges of their students, particularly undocumented/DACA students.

Program Description

The College Success Program is a continuation of Conexión Américas' Escalera College Access program located at three high schools in Southeast Nashville. The College Success program provides first-year student programming including a Summer Bridge Program, 1:1 individual coaching sessions, individual case management, FAFSA assistance, and bilingual Spanish and English information and referrals. The program provides job readiness training, college and career exploration sessions, career mentors, alumni events, and networking opportunities. Program practices intentionally provide Latino students with culturally and linguistically relevant programming and wraparound support services. College Success Coaches provide a variety of postsecondary support sessions to students who have completed Escalera and who opt-in to postsecondary programming.


  • In the College Success program, the persistence rate for Latino students who first entered postsecondary education in 2018 was 80%. The program’s year 1 to year 2 persistence rate for 2017 - 2019 Latino cohorts is 95%. By comparison, Latinos who enrolled at any U.S. institution as a first-time undergraduate student in fall 2018, had a 72% persistence rate according to the National Student Clearinghouse 2020 Persistence and Retention Report.
  • The College Success program saw a 74% college completion rate for Latino students who graduated from high school in 2015 or 2016. By comparison, the six-year college completion rate for Latino students in Tennessee who started as an undergraduate student in fall 2014 was 63.6%, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Completing College 2020 report.

Latinos in Higher Education - 2024 Compilation of Fast Facts - web pop-up banner with "Learn More" button.