Grantee Video Spotlight: College Crusade Rhode Island
The College Crusade of Rhode Island was founded in 1989 to prepare low-income students from Rhode Island with the resources and knowledge to go to college. They employ a long-term educational support program that follows students starting in middle school and through high school graduation. Students involved are called Crusaders.
In 2016, ECMC Foundation awarded the College Crusade of Rhode Island a two-year, $250,000 grant to support their program’s expansion to include their students’ postsecondary years.
The grant funded the hiring of four on-campus college counselors at institutions with high Crusader enrollment in Rhode Island as well as a summer bridge program and organizational support that was integral to creating the solid foundation the programs needed to succeed.
Over the two-year grant period, 87% of Crusaders enrolled in college immediately after graduation – compared to 67% prior to the postsecondary program. College Crusade reduced Summer Melt – the percentage of enrolled students who don’t show up for fall classes – from 46% to 27% after the implementation of their targeted Summer Bridge Program. And 76% of students in the program are on track to graduate. In total the grant served 3,200 students.
The investment was a catalyst for the College Crusade of Rhode Island’s largescale strategy around their advisory programs. In the future, College Crusade is looking to apply this same model to the transfer pipeline from community colleges to four-year schools.
Before this grant, the College Crusade of Rhode Island knew what it took to get their students to college. ECMC Foundation’s investment provided the support needed to build out the pathway for students to successfully finish a college degree.