Replicating Success: Cuny’s Accelerated Study In Associate Programs (ASAP)

Replicating Success: Cuny’s Accelerated Study In Associate Programs (ASAP)
Replicating Success: Cuny’s Accelerated Study In Associate Programs (ASAP)


City University of New York (CUNY) ASAP is a structured degree pathway program for associate degree-seeking students currently found at six community colleges. Key program components include full-time enrollment, block scheduled first-year courses, cohort course taking by major, financial support, intrusive and mandatory advisement, a student-success seminar, career services, and tutoring. ASAP targets low-income students with some developmental needs and consistently realizes two and three-year graduation rates that are more than double those of similar comparison group students. Panelists discussed the program, evaluation results, and replications effort.

Panelists Included:

Sue Scrivener, Senior Associate, MDRC

Donna Linderman, University Dean for Student Success Initiatives, CUNY

Brett Visger, Associate Vice Chancellor, Institutional Collaboration & Completion, Ohio Board of Regents

Panelist Biographies

Donna Linderman photo formattedDonna directly oversees Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), which, under her leadership has become nationally recognized and is regularly cited as one of the most successful community college programs in the country. As of 2014/15, ASAP enrolls 4,300 at seven colleges and is expected to expand to 13,000 students by 2016/17.

Her portfolio includes oversight of CUNY Start, a pre-matriculation program for students with high remedial needs at seven CUNY colleges. Donna has supported the program’s expansion to 3,800 students between 2011-14 , and in 2014, helped to secure a five-year Institute of Education Sciences (IES) research grant to study CUNY Start with MDRC and the Community College Research Center. She also oversees the Graduation Success Initiative, a structured support program for public assistance recipients in their final year of associate degree study at five CUNY colleges.

Donna previously served as University Director of the CUNY Middle Grades Initiative/GEAR UP, a federally-funded consortium project partnering high-needs public schools with CUNY colleges to improve college awareness and readiness. Before joining the Office of Academic Affairs, she was an Assistant Professor of Theater and Education at Brooklyn College. While at Brooklyn College she oversaw a theater and education initiative serving area high schools in partnership with the Department of Theater and School of Education. She has also taught at Lehman College and Bard College. Before entering academia, she worked professionally in the theater as an actor, director, and drama.

She holds a B.F.A. in drama from the University of Southern California and an M.F.A. in theater from Brooklyn College. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration at Northeastern University.

Sue_Scrivener_Photo formattedMs. Scrivener has almost two decades of experience evaluating programs for low-income individuals. She currently focuses primarily on reforms in higher education. She serves as the project director for MDRC’s evaluation of the City University of New York’s (CUNY’s) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) for developmental education students, an uncommonly comprehensive program to help students graduate with an associate’s degree quickly. She is the project manager for an evaluation of the Gates Foundation’s Completion by Design initiative, which aims to help colleges provide a well-structured, well-supported pathway from entry to degree completion. She is also studying the implementation of CUNY Start, an innovating program to build students’ basic skills before they enter college. Earlier in her tenure at MDRC, Ms. Scrivener worked primarily on welfare and employment studies.

Brett Visger PhotoBrett Visger is Associate Vice Chancellor for Institutional Collaboration and Completion for the Ohio Board of Regents.  In this role, he is focused on helping all institutions in the University System of Ohio increase the number and percentage of students completing meaningful postsecondary degrees and certificates.  This includes developing strategies to help institutions improve completion rates, operate more systemically and implement approaches that lead to more adult students earning credentials.

Prior to this role, Brett worked as consultant on a wide variety of education and workforce alignment initiatives; clients included Jobs For the Future, Achieve, Association for Career and Technical Education, Workforce Strategy Center, CLASP, Lumina, Irvine and Ford Foundations.  Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Brett was Vice President, College & Career Access at KnowledgeWorks Foundation.  Brett played a key role in developing the Ohio Early College High School Network, Ohio Bridges to Opportunity Initiative, and the Ohio College Access Network. Brett has a background in youth programming and college access and has worked with programs at Wesleyan University, University of Connecticut, and the Greater Washington D.C. College Information Center as well as at the National Council for Education Opportunity Associations in Washington, DC.  Visger earned a Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from George Mason University.



Click here to view presentation slides

Panelist Information:

Donna Linderman

University Dean for Student Success Initiatives, Office of Academic Affairs

City University of New York

16 Court Street, Room 3202

Brooklyn, NY 11241

Susan Scrivener

Senior Associate


19th Floor, 16 East 34 Street

New York, NY


Brett Visger

Associate Vice Chancellor, Institutional Collaboration & Completion

Ohio Board of Regents  

25 South Front Street,

Columbus, OH 4321


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