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Congratulations, 2020 College Completion Innovation Fund Awardees!

Faculty and staff from a participating Graduate NYC college gather to revise their program prototype.


Our partners at Graduate NYC recently announced the recipients of the 2020 College Completion Innovation Fund (CCIF). Congratulations to the awardees and the team at Graduate NYC! The groups demonstrated so much perseverance during the spring semester as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their institutions, their organizations, and their learners. We also extend our condolences to the broader CUNY community, where Graduate NYC is housed, which suffered numerous losses among its administration, faculty and staff as a result of the pandemic.

The Lab is proud to have worked with this year’s CCIF recipients to help them produce robust, competitive proposals featuring learner-centered solutions. Earlier this year, Graduate NYC invited the Lab to facilitate two sessions focused on human-centered design in support of the fund and its mission to spur innovation and the adoption of policies and practices to increase college degree completion in New York City. 

Twenty-three New York City-based undergraduate colleges and nonprofit community-based organizations (CBOs) took part in the sessions. Using human centered design principles and structured activities, the Lab challenged participants to expand their proposal ideas by incorporating learners’ voices and needs into their early prototypes. After the workshops, the colleges and CBOs continued to iterate their concepts for final submission to the fund. 

“Graduate NYC greatly valued our collaboration with the Lab this year,” said Graduate NYC director, Melissa Herman. “We received great feedback on your workshops and the expertise your designers brought to the table, before and after the sessions as well. As a result, we had a strong docket of proposals for this year’s College Completion Innovation Fund. While it was quite tough to get down to the ultimate selection, our team is really excited about the five that were picked.”

This year’s awardees will focus on completion efforts that will serve non-native speakers; transfer students; adult students with some college, but no degree; and learners coming back after a stop-out. Among the new solutions is a student-led initiative on understanding the challenges CUNY learners face when it comes to their basic needs. 

Learn more about the 2020 CCIF Awardees.

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