College Access Now Programs
CAN currently serves students at Garfield, Franklin, Nathan Hale, Roosevelt, Chief Sealth and West Seattle public high schools in Seattle. In addition to our college acceptance and persistance program, CAN also works to increase the school-wide college-going culture of the schools it serves. CAN participates in school-wide financial aid forums and PTSA college nights. CAN provides ad hoc direct support to additional students who drop into CAN’s offices at the schools to request help with the college application process and to students in other programs who join CAN students for test preparation sessions.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
CAN has grown from a grassroots organization serving 30 high school seniors in one Seattle public high school to today serving 480 students in six high schools and 150 students in colleges throughout the country. Since our inception, 99% of the 500 CAN students served have been admitted to college.
One of the many examples of CAN’s success is the story of Thang, CAN class of 2012. As a Vietnamese immigrant, he struggled to learn English and American culture. He continued to persevere through English Language Learning classes and AP classes – and with CAN’s help - was accepted to every one of the six colleges he applied to. He is currently attending the University of Washington, on multiple scholarships. Thang states, “CAN helped with more than just the mechanics; I built a really good connection I can rely on. There is no one out there doing this with students.”
CAN’s greatest organizational need is the capacity to expand its College Persistence Program. CAN has informally followed and supported all of our alumni through their college careers. And while our students have graduated college at a significantly higher rate than their peers across the nation, research highlights the need for continued support through college. Continuing to diversify our funding sources will strengthen our capacity to meet this critical need on the continuum of support for economically disadvantaged students.