College retention program highlighted on Capitol Hill
SF State officials were in Washington D.C. on March 1 for a Capitol Hill briefing on Metro Academies, an innovative program that is increasing college retention rates for students from underrepresented groups and low-income and first-generation students.
Metro Academies, a partnership between SF State and City College of San Francisco, is a two-year program aimed at increasing the number of students who stay in college. The program could serve as a national model for closing the college completion gap between low-income and more affluent students.
Program Director Mary Beth Love, Curriculum and Faculty Affairs Director Savita Malik, SF State junior Alexander Leyva-Estrada, City College of San Francisco sophomore Camille Jackson and National Association of System Heads Executive Director Jane Wellman participated in a panel discussion about the program. SF State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue Rosser, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, Spiros Protopsaltis, senior education policy advisor to Sen. Tom Harkin, and U.S. Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Eduardo Ochoa also spoke at the event.
"The Metro Academies Initiative responds to President Obama’s call for five million new college graduates by 2020, restoring the U.S. to being the country with the number one rate of college degree completion," Rosser said. "We are radically altering the way students experience their first two years of college, whether at a community college or at a four year university."
Metro Academies uses numerous high-impact practices to benefit student achievement, including learning communities, tutoring, extra academic counseling and electronic portfolios to exhibit students' new skills. Students receive one-on-one support from faculty and construct individual education plans with an academic counselor. Early results show Metro Academies students are 18 percent more likely than their peers to stay in college until their fifth semester, and post higher grade point averages than a matched comparison group.
There are currently five Metro Academies groups in progress at SF State and City College of San Francisco, and an initiative is under way to develop a national center to support other colleges with technical assistance, customizable materials and curricula.
To learn more about Metro Academies, visit http://www.metroacademies.org.