College Ready Communities prepares students for higher ed

June 21, 2012 │ New York

Three years ago, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation received a $2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to leverage the foundation’s current investments in low-to-moderate income communities in New York City.

Building off of Deutsche Bank’s decades-long investment in Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and public education in New York City, Deutsche Bank launched College Ready Communities in 2009 to facilitate partnerships between CDCs, education advocacy organizations, and public middle and high schools in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods in New York City to improve connections between these community partners and improve student academic outcomes.

Over the three year demonstration pilot, organizations and schools established Student Success Centers, wherein recent high school graduates and current seniors guide their younger peers through the college admissions process. Additionally, the initiative improved professional development opportunities for teachers; worked with parents to understand how best to establish college savings and apply for financial aid; and instituted curricular support to students.

The Center for New York City Affairs at The New School is currently evaluating the impact of College Ready Communities - a project the Center undertook as part of its larger focus on evaluating and promoting strategies for effectively readying public school students for college.


On June 21, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation helped to sponsor a forum held by the New School to celebrate the increased numbers of students graduating high school and applying to college, and shine light on how much more work needs to be done to ensure their college success. A panel featured representatives from the New York City Department of Education, City University of New York, Abyssinian Development Corporation, a premier CDC, as well as a prominent researcher and a youth organizer.


Using College Ready Communities as a case study, the New School led a standing-room only audience in the analysis of and critical dialogue on New York City's school and community-based college readiness efforts. The services provided by community institutions and nonprofits were assessed to be vital to the continuing improvement of New York City public school students.


To watch a video of the conference, please click here.


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Last Update: July 10, 2012
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