To help the city meet the goals he established for college completion, Menino launched Success Boston, which provides high school graduateswith counselors to help them navigate through the bureaucracy of college, particularly the bursar’s and financial aid offices, and helps connect them with tutors and other services.
The program, which has enrolled a few hundred high school graduates who are at the greatest risk of not finishing college, is yielding results, according to the latest study.
“By launching Success Boston, we were the first city in the country to make college completion part of our education pipeline,” Menino said in a statement. “Now, President Obama and other mayors across the nation have embraced this challenge.”
The city has partnered with several local organizations to provide the counselors, such as the Bottom Line in Jamaica Plain, which specializes in helping students get into and through college.
The expertise can be a particular boon for students who are the first to go to college in their families.
“It is someone saying, ‘Is this a good idea taking an extra loan out or taking six classes when you are having difficulty with five,’ ” said Greg Johnson, chief executive of Bottom Line. “We try not to be the parent in the situation, but sometimes it’s the kind of guidance a parent would provide.”
The report clearly shows Boston is heading in the right direction, said Neil Sullivan, executive director of the Boston Private Industry Council, a public-private partnership between Boston’s businesses and education institutions.
“The upward trend holds great promise not merely for the health of the community but the quality of the workforce,” Sullivan said. “There are so many collateral benefits when students can grow up and credential themselves in a very unforgiving labor market.”