SHEEO and CUNY|ASAP kickoff inaugural learning community with NYC convening

New York – Teams from five states came together this week with members of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) and The City University of New York’s (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) | Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE) National Replication Collaborative for the launch of a new college completion learning community. 

In early September, SHEEO and CUNY kicked off the new learning community, including five $50,000 state planning grants for Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Washington, to help states replicate a proven model for student success. The learning community will guide states in creating action plans to close equity gaps and increase college completion rates at their state’s community colleges. 

The convening, held Nov. 2-3, in Manhattan and on the campus of Borough of Manhattan Community College, provided an opportunity for peer networking and collective engagement in initial technical assistance activities to support strategic planning for state-scaled ASAP replication projects.

A fireside chat discussion held Thursday evening set the tone for the convening and the conversations to follow. CUNY Chancellor Dr. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, The State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Dr. John B. King Jr., and Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Brian Bridges with the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, joined moderator Dr. John Lane, SHEEO vice president for academic affairs and equity initiatives, to discuss ASAP replication as an equity imperative. 

“CUNY’s successful Accelerated Study in Associate Programs has been replicated by 14 institutions across seven states, a testament to the program’s ability to help students on a nationwide scale boost graduation rates and ultimately increase more students’ economic mobility,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “CUNY is pleased to work with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association and other partners to replicate ASAP across five additional states and beyond, an effort that can be key to addressing the country’s persistent equity gaps in degree attainment rates.”

U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary James Kvaal gave a keynote address in support of completion and student success models like CUNY. Other sessions of the two-day convening focused on coalition building and making the return on investment case, aligning ASAP replication to state higher education priorities, planning for equity-based, state-scaled replication projects, and sustainable budgeting and productive funding models.

“State higher education leaders continue to identify completion as essential to statewide attainment goals, and CUNY ASAP’s strategies to improve completion, particularly among minoritized populations, will contribute to state planning to scale and sustain solutions,” said Dr. John Lane, SHEEO vice president for academic affairs and equity initiatives. “SHEEO is pleased to partner with the Accelerated Study in Associates Program and the states in the ASAP replication learning community to promote policies and practice that support student achievement through improved attainment.” 

The ASAP|ACE model was established by the CUNY system in 2007 and was designed to break down barriers to degree completion, particularly for CUNY’s low-income students. The model’s holistic, comprehensive suite of financial, academic, and personal services has served more than 88,000 CUNY students. The approach has been shown to more than double graduation rates for ASAP students over comparison groups in nearly every evaluation completed on the program. 

The SHEEO and CUNY College Completion Learning Community will continue to meet virtually through 2024 to establish a plan for next steps in initiating systems-scaled ASAP replication projects.For additional information, visit the SHEEO project website at To learn more about the CUNY|ASAP National Replication Collaborative, visit