College Access and Success


Just announced: College Acccess and Success will be expanded from a program to a school as part of the exciting new Essex Crossing development (formerly known as Seward Park Renewal Project). This will allow us to serve more families in the future! Read more here.



Education offers us all, regardless of background, the opportunity to expand knowledge, transcend difficult circumstances and pursue high aspirations. 

But, there are hundreds for whom the promise of American education has been hollow – those who have lacked access to college or, worse, have not even graduated high school.   Despite recent gains, this problem is pervasive in New York City, especially in neighborhoods with large numbers of low-income families like our Lower East Side.

The Educational Alliance believes that every one of us should be afforded access to higher education.   We are committed to help every member of families enrolled in our government-funded early childhood education programs obtain a college degree. This approach will break intergenerational cycles of poverty.

IN THE NEWS: Our College Access & Success Program (CAASP) was featured on NY1 news! Watch the segment here.  We were also featured on Channel 7 news!  Watch the segment here. 


Program Model

College Access and Success Program (CAASP) is developed in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY) and New York University (NYU). It is the first of its kind in New York City, simultaneously engaging the low-income parents of children enrolled in the Educational Alliance’s Early Head Start and Head Start programs in a rigorous college preparation program, supporting the parents and family while they are in college, all while readying and supporting their young children for their own school success. The Educational Alliance is the experienced provider of early childhood education; CUNY is the experienced adult education provider, particularly for students for whom English is a second language; and New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development is providing the ongoing evaluation expertise.

We'll link participants with the equivalent of a high school degree – ones who are academically well-positioned for higher education but require some assistance making the transition to college – to existing college preparatory classes at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), including the Math for College program and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), which enables individuals to earn college credits by taking tests that demonstrate their proficiency in various subjects. 

We'll involve participants who need more rigorous remediation in GED-preparatory classes that provide them with the skills necessary to advance to the college-preparatory classes at BMCC.  Those in need of English language skills will be linked to ESOL classes. Each enrolling parent will know that they have committed to long-term education, from ESOL to a college degree.  Participants are those with children in our center-based and home-based early childhood education programs.

In addition to education for parents and children, participating families receive case management services and access to mental health counseling, childcare during class times, access to a computer lab, and assistance with homework assignments throughout the day and into the evening.  Participants will enroll in college as a cohort, encouraging a peer support network to develop. To help strengthen relationships among cohort members, we will offer regular workshops and social gatherings, throughout their education.


This new model – which started its second pilot year (October 2012) – aims to help families move out of poverty and toward economic stability through the design of a learning environment for full family participation in a college-going culture.  We currently enrolled approximately 200 parents in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and GED instructions, family literacy programming, college awareness and advisement services and a host of related activities. 

Our goal is to help parents and children realize their college aspirations.

We are grateful to financial support for this program from New York State Education Department, JP Morgan Chase Foundation and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and in close partnership with the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC).



For more information, please contact  Stacey Li, Director of College Access and Success, at 646-395-4220.

If you are interested in enrolling in our College Access and Success Program, please contact your Family Worker or Case Manager.  

Case Manager/Family Worker                 Site                                                                 Phone number

Diana Arizmendi

PS 15


Drupatie Gayadin

PS 64


Evelyn Suarez-Clarke

PS 142


Zhen Chen

18 Avenue D and PS 188


Jeanette Diaz

34 Avenue D


Alva Cardona

Carmen Quinones

Hong Lin

Hong Liu

Hope Mobley

Jenny Yu

Kathryn Chan

Lily Ren

Maria Fellows

Maria Torres

Maribel O’Connell

Mary Gibbs

Rhina Martinez

Vianka Sanchez

197 East Broadway















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