College Now Greater Cleveland to Share Postsecondary Advising Wisdom at Spring Training

February 14, 2018

By Kim Szarmach, Communications Intern

When College Now Greater Cleveland was founded in 1967 by lawyer Robert Coplan and an anonymous client, it was the first organization of its kind. 

"The college access movement was started with College Now Greater Cleveland," College Now CEO Lee Friedman said. "Prior to our founding there was no other organization doing this work in the country, and we were a model for similar organizations as they started being created." 

A storied veteran in the field and one of NCAN’s nine founding members, College Now will share insights into what makes its programs work at NCAN’s annual Spring Training, which this year centers on the theme of Accelerating Students through the Talent Pipeline and Into Careers

College Now started as a scholarship foundation (it was originally called the Cleveland Scholarship Program), but Coplan quickly realized students needed more than just financial assistance to get to college. Many students they talked to hadn't taken the SAT or applied for federal financial aid. In 1968, the organization started bringing advisors into high schools to help students plan for their futures and get the money they needed to go to college.  

50 years later, there are college access and success programs all over the country (hundreds of which are members of NCAN) and College Now, celebrating a special anniversary, remains a leader in the community.  

Staff at the organization, whose mission is to increase postsecondary educational attainment through college and career access advising, financial aid counseling, and scholarship and retention services, are looking forward to partnering with NCAN to present one of three 2018 Spring Training events in Cleveland, OH. (See this white paper for takeaways on last year's events.) 

"We're excited to share the work that’s being done here because I think it's replicable elsewhere, so hopefully [attendees] can take the best practices home with them," Friedman said. 

College Now has a lot to share with NCAN members looking to expand their postsecondary advising and academic success work. In recent years, the organization has expanded its focus on nontraditional students such as adult learners in the Greater Cleveland community. College Now also started an online mentoring program in 2011 that boasts a first-to-second-year college retention rate of 93 percent. 

"We're doing some interesting things when it comes to advising on educational pathways to careers and how advisors can help students of all ages, traditional students and adult learners alike, how we can help them find their best fit for a postsecondary option,” Friedman said. “It's not a one-size-fits-all for everybody." 

College access and success professionals can gain insight from more inspiring organizations like College Now in other parts of the country. NCAN is hosting regional Spring Training sessions in Wilmington, DE and Oakland, CA, in addition to Cleveland. Registration is currently open on our website and is free for NCAN members. (Not a member? Join today to enjoy free registration and other member benefits!)

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