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CUNY’s ASAP program wins the 2020 Innovations in American Government Award


CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs won the 2020 Innovations in American Government Award on April 21 from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. This is an applaudable feat for CUNY, being recognized for addressing social problems and providing services to the public in an efficient, creative and effective way.

“At this time of great national urgency and personal challenges, at CUNY we feel tremendous pride at the news that ASAP has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Innovations in American Government Award,” CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez said in a statement.

ASAP is an academic program offered at nine CUNY colleges that helps students earn associate degrees within three years by providing a range of financial, academic and personal support services.

The program also offers comprehensive and personalized advising, career counseling, tutoring, waivers for tuition and mandatory fees, public transportation passes and additional financial assistance to cover the cost of textbooks.

ASAP students also receive special class scheduling options to ensure that they get the classes they need, are in classes with other ASAP students and attend classes in convenient blocks of time to accommodate their work schedules.

The program’s three-year graduation rate is significantly higher than non-ASAP associate degree-seeking students at almost 53%. In addition, its track record of the first five cohorts shows that ASAP narrows the existing graduation gap for black and Hispanic males.

Since its launch in 2007, through the support of the New York City Office of the Mayor’s Center for Economic Opportunity, the program’s success has been nationally recognized, and its model has been adopted in five states.

A recent study conducted by a nonprofit, nonpartisan research firm found that a replication of ASAP at three community colleges in Ohio had doubled three-year graduation rates and increased transfers to four-year colleges by nearly 50%.

“For the past 13 years, ASAP had an enormous impact on the lives of over 58,000 associate degree-seeking CUNY students, helping them achieve their educational dreams and transform their lives, while simultaneously earning its much-deserved recognition as a national model for student success and educational opportunity,” Matos Rodríguez said.

The program serves as an example for higher education across the nation.

“The conclusions of our national panel of experts show that as we come out of the current crisis now more than ever what CUNY has done should be a model for community college and university systems across the country,” Director of the Innovations in American Government Program professor Stephen Goldsmith said.

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