At Community Charter School of Cambridge (CCSC), our mission is broader than high school graduation: we aim to partner with our students as they continue to belong, grow, and achieve as they pursue their goals after graduation. Our Alumni Persistence Program, launched in the 2022-2023 school year, supports our graduates in college and career as they work toward financial independence and financial security. The program is designed to provide CCSC alumni with one-on-one coaching and guidance, resources, and emergency funding to support their social, emotional, and academic transition to college and career.
The CCSC Alumni Persistence Program currently consists of the following activities:
- CCSC’s College and Career Counseling Department works closely with students and their families to provide individual help to ensure school “fit.” CCSC college and career counselors identify colleges with strong records of supporting students financially and with other on-campus resources and guidance and work closely with students and families to maximize access to student aid and scholarships at colleges. In addition, CCSC counselors work with students seeking a non-traditional college experience and/or vocational and other training that will provide certificates and licensure and a road into financial independence and security.
- The College and Career Counseling Department also sponsors transition to college programming. All juniors and seniors take a college and career seminar course throughout the year and alumni return to school to provide real world experiences about college and to advise students as they make the transition.
- The curriculum at CCSC offers Advanced Placement courses as well as forums and panels with faculty/staff, professionals, and alumni on college life, lectures on how to cope in college, and profession/career days that educate students about careers that may be available to them upon graduation from college.
- CCSC has two Alumni Coordinators (part-time), who have long standing relationships with graduates and text or call students in college. The contact is more intense in the first year, consisting of texts and phone calls at least four times a year: twice in the fall to discuss academics and the adjustment to college and twice in the spring to discuss academics, summer internships, and financial obligations for re-enrollment the next year. The Alumni Coordinators also provide opportunities for alumni to return to campus regularly and manage on-line social media outreach to alumni. Through this process, which began in 2022, we have helped students access various resources on their college campuses and navigate navigate academic, social, and financial challenges. We have learned that the most important challenges tend to be financial and that helping students plan is imperative.
- CCSC has a small Emergency Persistence Fund, which provides micro-grant funding for students who are facing financial challenges related to their college fees. Requests are reviewed by a committee of CCSC alumni and staff and are typically granted for important supports such as: academic materials and supplies, transportation, transcript fees, tuition gaps (after exhausting other funding sources), or other immediate needs.
- Finally, CCSC has an alumni webpage (https://ccscambridge.org/alumni-resources) dedicated to sharing information and resources with CCSC graduates, including information on how to connect with the school and with each other.
Support Our Work
CCSC’s pilot Alumni Persistence Program, which was originally managed by a volunteer and now has two faculty members who are conducting outreach part-time, has shown that a holistic college persistent program is very labor intensive. CCSC would like to create a formal CCSC Alumni Persistence Program, with the goal of raising $200,000 annually to support the work of a full-time Alumni Coordinator around alumni outreach and engagement. CCSC has committed to allocating an additional $25,000 per year toward this program, with the goal of fully funding the Alumni Coordinator position through the school’s operating budget, allowing the fundraising effort to phase out.
The CCSC Persistence Program budget includes:
- Hiring a full-time Alumni Coordinator
- Funding for reunions, events at CCSC, incentive gift cards for alumni who participate in outreach programming, and other incidentals
- Expanding the Emergency Persistence Fund
- Creating an alumni summer jobs/internships program to match students in college with available jobs that provide high-quality professional experience and help students earn money to cover tuition bills
To make a contribution to CCSC’s Alumni Persistence Program, please click here. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Thank you in advance for your generous support.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Elizabeth Debraggio, Director of Communications and Development at email@example.com or (781) 801-8913.