First-year Support

Back on Track Designs

Reengaging Opportunity Youth

Reengaging youth and young adults who are off track to graduation, or disconnected from both education and work, and putting them on a path to postsecondary credentials.

Lili Allen
Associate Vice President, Reconnection Strategies and Designs
617.728.4446 x105

First-year Support

First-year Support offers appropriate supports in the first year to ensure postsecondary persistence and success.

Support for Students to Earn Credits Predictive of Completion

  • Staff use data to monitor student progress, with particular attention to performance in the first few months of college classes.
  • Students experience consistent check-ins by designated staff person and are encouraged to connect with networks and support providers on campus, expanding their social capital and their awareness of formal and informal supports and resources. 
  • Students, particularly those who are struggling, receive intensive academic supports to help them succeed in credit-bearing general or technical program coursework, and are encouraged and guided to use apps and online tools that promote persistence.
  • Students are offered performance-based incentives, such as scholarships, to motivate them to accomplish personal and academic benchmarks.
  • Staff create individualized plans with students who are not on track to earn a credential after the first year, that include regular self-assessments and additional customized academic supports.

Just-in-Time Support to Ensure Persistence

  • Emergency funds are set aside for students to provide short-term coverage of immediate expenses (e.g., books, housing, child care) in order to ensure that students can remain in school.
  • Staff provide early and ongoing supports, anticipating and preventing obstacles, such as loss of childcare, housing, financial aid, etc., and providing additional referrals and follow-up as needed.

Building Attachment to Postsecondary Education

  • Students are connected to campus resources, especially those targeted for first-generation college goers.
  • Key information on college courses and professors is provided by student mentors to help first-year students make more informed choices.
  • Staff develop or facilitate on-campus alumni groups that include student mentors and advisors using a combination of social media and face-to-face group get-togethers.
  • Students engage in small cohort-based learning and leadership communities.