New York, New York Graduate NYC!
Realizing that improving education outcomes for its youth is crucial to future economic success, New York City is pushing for policy and attitude change towards college with the Graduate NYC! program. With the support of a $3million, three-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and its Communities Learning in Partnership (CLIP) initiative, Graduate NYC! is working towards the goal of increasing the associate degree completion rates from 10% to 25%. The Mayor's Office is one of the key resources for the program, along with the city's Department of Education and the City University of New York (CUNY) system. With top policy minds engaged in these efforts, Graduate NYC! is a crucial component of the workforce development strategy.
Viewing the efforts to change the attitides about college as the most challenging work, Graduate NYC! has developed Best Practice Forums, training academies, and a web portal to deepen the existing commitment from active stakeholders. Community-based organizations have become a focus of the program, and the website and newsletter are efforts to expand the support base. These resources have incorporated feedback from surveys of participants and stakeholders to provide the most valuable information in an intuitive and efficient manner. Graduate NYC! has also used data to assist with information sharing between stakeholder organizations and data reporting to help inform changes within the initiative. Using the partnerships with CUNY and the DOE, Graduate NYC! is using their political and institutional muscle to get policy improvements done on larger, city-wide level.