Success Boston Coaching was implemented in the Boston, Massachusetts metro area. Partners included The Boston Foundation, the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, the University of Massachusetts Boston, Bunker Hill Community College, other regional colleges and universities, uAspire, the Boston Private Industry Council, and other local nonprofit organizations. During the 2013–14 and 2014–15 academic years, students received coaching from seven nonprofit organizations: American Student Assistance, Boston Private Industry Council, Bottom Line, Freedom House, Hyde Square Task Force, Sociedad Latina, and West End House. A national nonprofit organization, uAspire, delivered financial aid advising to students and professional development for coaches. Students attended nine partner colleges: Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Bridgewater State University, Bunker Hill Community College, Massachusetts Bay Community College, Northeastern University, Roxbury Community College, Salem State University, Suffolk University, and University of Massachusetts Boston.
The study sample was comprised of 42 percent African-American students, 38 percent Hispanic students, 12 percent Asian students, and eight percent White students. Sixty-one percent of the study sample was female, 15 percent were English learners, 10 percent had an Individualized Education Plan, and 85 percent received free or reduced price lunch.
Students in Success Boston Coaching began receiving one-on-one coaching from experienced counselors starting as early as the end of high school and continuing through the first two years of college. Coaching was available on demand to help students navigate the college process while developing their sense of agency, autonomy, and independence. The coaching was designed to develop students' life, study, help-seeking, and academic skills and helped students hone their relationship, goal setting, and networking skills. Job and career mentoring were also provided. Coaching activities began after high school graduation for 92 percent of students.
Students in the comparison group did not participate in Success Boston Coaching but were eligible to receive traditional counseling services while in high school and college.
Support for implementation
The Boston Foundation oversaw the Success Boston Coaching network that facilitates communication across the initiative. The network also provided coaches access to specialized training about financial aid from uAspire, a national nonprofit organization, as well as access to training on other topics.