Cypress Hills LDC Supplements ETO with Enroll

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Institution Type: Multi Service non-profit working with Public High Schools

Topic: College Access and Transition

Region: New York City

Background

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC) was founded by community members and local merchants in 1983.  Over the decades, the organization has gone from a one-program organization with an annual budget of $35,000 to an organization with six program divisions serving 10,000 people a year, with a budget of over $14 million. The mission of CHLDC is to build a strong, sustainable Cypress Hills and East New York, where youth and adults achieve educational and economic success, secure healthy and affordable housing and develop leadership skills to transform their lives and community.  

In 2016, CHLDC’s College Success Division transitioned to using Enroll to help manage the college process for four high schools, a community-based college office, and a college persistence team who supports all of CHLDC’s high school alumni.

Challenges

The college application, enrollment, and persistence process consists of more than 50 milestones and tasks, which the College Success Division tracks for each student. The team used a combination of spreadsheets and ETO to record each step. And, periodically all of this information needed to be transferred into ETO by Social Solutions, which CHLDC uses as their universal database. The three biggest challenges in managing this work and the associated data were:

  1. Time required for manual data entry and “cleaning” data for batch importing.

  2. Time needed to train staff to use ETO.

  3. Lack of opportunity for Program Directors to quickly aggregate data for reporting, planning, or staff supervision.

Solution

A Program Director on the College Success Team worked to make sure that Enroll was aligned with the fields needed in ETO, and helped roll it out with just one training. Staff now enters data into Enroll daily, and reports are quickly exported from Enroll and batch imported into ETO by Program Directors, eliminating all manual data entry into ETO. Currently, Enroll is used in 9 high schools, the college persistence program and the community based college office.

Benefits

Enroll has saved CHLDCs College Success Division a lot of time and increased their use of reports as a tool for program management. In the words of Lisa LoFaso, Senior Program Director of the Student Success Center,  Enroll is a  “Huge, huge saver of time.” Here is a breakdown of the impact across College Success programs:

  • Less time spent on data entry: Enroll is dynamic, data entry takes less time and reports are easily exported from Enroll and imported to ETO. Previously, for one program, 4 staff members spent approximately 60 hours transferring data into ETO. Now, it takes 1 manager at most 3 hours to complete the process across all staff, a 95% reduction in time.

  • Less time spent training staff: ETO required multiple trainings over multiple components in order for staff to effectively use it. Now the College Success Team conducts one training and staff are ready to go. In Lisa’s words, the Enroll training is “One and done, and everyone got the hang of it."

  • More productive staff supervision: Each week, with the click of one button the director downloads a complete report that shows you which steps are missed by which students.

  • Better partnerships through data: Ad hoc requests for data are cleaner, quicker, and available to all staff, and as a result partner conversations are more comprehensive and help identify challenges AND successes.

  • Improved data integrity with less effort: Using Google Sheets across multiple program sites meant some measure of variation in formatting and language. Enroll ensures that all questions and answers are validated and access is controlled using permission settings.

Learn more about Enroll >

CARA uses Enroll to track the college process for more than 5,000 students

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Institution Type: Non-Profit working with Public High Schools

Topic: College Access and Transition

Region: New York City

Background

College Access: Research & Action (CARA) has worked in over 80 public high schools in NYC since 2011 with the goal of ensuring that first-generation-to-college students, low-income students, and students of color have the knowledge and support necessary to enroll in and graduate from college. CARA helps transform the cultures of educational institutions by training a wide range of people within those communities to support all of their students to and through college, and by providing curricula to help young people build knowledge about college, strengthen navigational skills, and develop multicultural college-going identities.

Beginning in 2015, FMYI worked with CARA's College Bridge program to develop Enroll NYC (Enroll). The College Bridge program addresses the gap in college guidance by training current college students, called Bridge Coaches, to support graduating high school students during their senior year and the summer before they matriculate into college. During the school year, coaches work in the college office alongside schools’ college counselors and conduct workshops with seniors. They then work one-on-one with students over the summer, helping graduates to complete final financial aid forms, figure out how to pay for textbooks, arrange transportation to college, and register for classes.

Challenges

In 2015, the College Bridge team was working with about 30 high schools, and about to expand their model from a focus on the college transition, to supporting high school seniors throughout the year from application through enrollment. At the time, they were using Google Sheets to track the more than 28 steps it takes for a student to enroll in college after they hit submit on their applications, and soon they would also need to track the complete application process — for anywhere from 100 to 400 seniors per high school. This would be burdensome to do with Google Sheets, and tools like Salesforce, Naviance and Social Solutions would all have been cost and time prohibitive. CARA needed a more efficient and user-friendly tool to support the work shared by the college counselors and their coaches. There were three main goals that CARA hoped to achieve by working with FMYI:

  1. Easy scaling: from tracking 28 to over 75 tasks, over the course of a whole year.

  2. Save counselors and coaches time as they are updating student records and identifying students who need follow up.

  3. Relieve the time and cost of manually creating reports for each school numerous times per year.

Solution

Together we developed a student focused tracking tool that organized all of the necessary student tasks into four to-do lists: College Readiness, Applications and Admission, Financial Aid, and Enrollment. Counselors and Coaches could now track each of these steps on a student's page, or update them for multiple students at a time from their dashboard. We also developed multiple reports to track both completion of tasks and progress through them.

Benefits

Enroll has helped CARA to create a clear set of metrics that is common across their schools and programs, and eliminated the cost of running individual reports for schools.  And after piloting Enroll, its use has expanded beyond College Bridge and is now being used in two more of CARA’s programs: Right to College and College Inquiry.

At the school level, Enroll has helped CARA build the capacity of college offices and college coaches because, as Shaquinah Taylor Wright, the Director of College Bridge put it, “Enroll is really, really straightforward - it shows you where students are and where they need to be. And, it allows counselors to take ownership over data and to share ownership with other staff. In real time [counselors and staff] can see what students need and respond.”  

Using Enroll has helped college counselors share information more widely with teachers, essential in establishing a  distributed model of counseling and has allowed principals to better understand the work of the college office and the needs of their students during the application process.  Another unexpected benefit has been the help with staff transitions.  Whether on short term leave or transitioning to a new school, Enroll allows counselors to leave a transparent record of student progress so that other staff can easily pick up where they left off.

CARA is also as an organization with a focus on research and policy and has been a key influencer on the NYC Department of Education’s, College Access for All Initiative,  focused on creating postsecondary pathways for all students. Using Enroll will allow CARA to dig deeper into understanding key benchmarks that may lead to increased rates of postsecondary enrollment and share this not only across their own programs but also with the wider community in NYC and beyond.

Learn more about Enroll or get a demo  >