Joining forces with colleges to close the degree divide

Every year, 300,000 students from low-income backgrounds enroll in four-year colleges and universities, but only 32 percent graduate within six years. Will yours?

Catalyze is College Possible’s newest initiative to impact student persistence and success directly on college campuses. Our model is unique in the way it helps your institution build capacity to serve your own students by embedding our near-peer coaching model and curriculum on your campus. Using this partnership model, College Possible extends the reach of your campus’ existing student support services, increases student retention rates and closes the opportunity gap for students from low-income backgrounds.

Preparing for scale.

College Possible is pleased to be one of the seven inaugural organizations to receive an investment from The Studio @ Blue Meridian. The Studio provides social sector leaders and organizations flexible resources that help fill strategic gaps to accelerate our readiness for significantly scaling the reach, impact, and influence of the Catalyze initiative.

  • Why Catalyze?

    For 18 years, College Possible has refined its model of near-peer coaching using a research-based curriculum, and is now a national leader in college success programming. Our dedicated near-peer coaches guide and support students on their path to and through college, making College Possible students three times more likely to earn their degrees than their low-income peers.

    We know that many colleges and universities are committed to supporting students from low-income backgrounds, but they often lack the staff or resources to support these students in the way they would like. A partnership with Catalyze allows your institution to tailor our proven approach to meet your institution’s unique needs in a cost-effective way.

    By partnering with College Possible, you can enhance your support services for students from low-income backgrounds, increase student retention rates, graduate more students and, with us, close the opportunity gap.

  • What is the "near-peer" coaching model?

    Our near-peer coaching model leverages the power of passionate, dedicated recent college graduates to offer advice and mentorship to young people as they navigate the complex world of college completion.

    Multiple studies have validated that a student’s relationship with a coach close to their age produces significant positive outcomes, including better grades, higher course completion rates, increased knowledge of campus resources, improved ability to work through difficulties in college and higher self-esteem. These outcomes often translate into higher retention and graduation rates for your students.

  • Which institutions currently partner with Catalyze?

    Catalyze programming currently supports over 3,000 students on nine partner campuses:

    • Augsburg University – Minneapolis, MN
    • Austin Peay State University – Clarksville, TN
    • California State University, Stanislaus – Turlock, CA
    • Coe College – Cedar Rapids, IA
    • Luther College – Decorah, IA
    • Morgan State University – Baltimore, MD
    • St. Cloud State University – St. Cloud, MN
    • University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH
    • Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology – New York, NY

If you’re interested in learning more about Catalyze and how it can benefit your campus, please contact Jeron Schmidt, partnerships manager, at

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