College-Community Connections

College-Community Connections Partnerships

The Teagle Foundation has long felt a special responsibility to the community from within which it operates, and over the years, has contributed to a wide range of organizations that work with young people in New York City. This responsibility is coupled with the Foundation's commitment to higher education -- and in particular, liberal education -- which cultivates in students the higher order capacities (such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills) that will not only equip them for jobs right out of college, but also for the work they will do over the course of a lifetime, in industries and positions that may not even exist yet.

The overarching purpose of the "College-Community Connections" initiative is to help financially disadvantaged but talented high school students prepare for and succeed in college. The Teagle Foundation pursues this end through the development of programs that engage students in academically ambitious programs that increase their knowledge and skill base even as they encourage students to think expansively about the colleges to which they might ultimately apply.

As an expression of these core commitments, Teagle supports partnerships between community-based organizations (CBOs) that offer college preparatory programs and colleges and universities in the metropolitan area. The program is now in its third iteration, having been launched in 2005, and its goals for the partnerships remain:

  • To enhance the college readiness of highly talented but disadvantaged high school students served by CBOs in the New York City.
  • To encourage these students to aim high in setting their academic goals, and to succeed in reaching them.
  • To provide opportunities for faculty and students at colleges and universities in the New York City area to work with these students.
  • To encourage academic departments or established programs (e.g., American Studies, film and media studies, women's studies, etc.) at colleges/universities to commit to the partnership over the life of the grant.
  • To encourage CBOs and colleges to explore ways in which partnerships can be more fully integrated, and ideally institutionalized, at their institutions.
  • To support college preparatory programs at CBOs.

Teagle program officer discusses liberal education and college access in The Washington Post.


College-Community Connections, Round III

The third round of the CCC initiative renewed support for existing partnerships, asking grantees to: refine program content based on lessons learned during the past iteration; expand the reach of the program, aiming to serve a greater number of students; find ways to include an emphasis on college success; and actively disseminate the work of the program.  An evaluation conducted by Policy Studies Associates, an independent research and evaluation firm with a focus on education and youth development, looked at the program's sustainability and replication in the future.


College-Community Connections, Round II

Building on the results and lessons learned from the pilot, the Foundation issued a Request for Proposals for a second round of College-Community Connections partnerships from 2009-2012. An evaluation conducted by Metis Associates, an independent national research and evaluation firm, indicated that the program is a "highly effective model" that exposes very talented but disadvantaged high school students to the "rigors, realities, and possibilities of a liberal education."


College-Community Connections, Pilots

The Foundation supported ten partnerships in a pilot of the CCC program from 2005-2008. An evaluation conducted by Metis Associates revealed that the partnerships had a positive impact on the high school students, community-based organizations, and colleges. Metis Associates also compiled a list of promising practices and common challenges.


Additional Grants

The Foundation recognizes that multiple efforts are necessary to ensure that all students are prepared for, and have access to, college. The Foundation has therefore funded a number of ambitious college preparatory programs over the years.