AdvanceEDU, Colorado’s first hybrid college, is excited to highlight the success of its partnership with founding partner DSST Public Schools. AdvanceEDU provides innovative pathways to degree completion through student support services and access to online degree programs. Hybrid colleges in other states have been shown to double degree completion, halve tuition costs, and eliminate race-based completion disparities when compared to comparable institutions. “Along with amazing founding partners like DSST, we’re eager to show that we can go even further than the incredible hybrid college outcomes in other states by adding opportunities for paid, degree aligned work in top Colorado companies while pursuing a degree,” said Lauren Trent, AdvanceEDU’s CEO.
DSST has partnered with AdvanceEDU since its inception in March 2020 to offer an innovative new post secondary option to students and staff. DSST is offering both a dual enrollment option through a pilot program as well as postsecondary pathways in business, healthcare management, technology and human services. DSST staff also have the opportunity to take advantage of the opportunity to earn their Associate and/or bachelor’s degrees through this partnership. Learners who attend AdvanceEDU have access to credentials through Southern New Hampshire University, CSU Global, and Western Governors University. In addition, they receive intensive success coaching and in-person support at AdvanceEDU’s downtown Denver co-learning campus, which offers meals, technology, tutoring, career services, and childcare options.
Early results show that this model is working here in Denver. AdvanceEDU saw over 90% retention of college-enrolled students in its first year; and 90% of AdvanceEDU students are attending completely debt-free.
This career-connected postsecondary experience has proven to be a successful option for many DSST students and staff. “We are thrilled to partner with AdvanceEDU in offering this new post secondary option. We believe that together, we can break down traditional barriers to higher education and make college more accessible to Denver students”. Currently, 15 students are enrolled in dual enrollment courses, three DSST alumni are currently enrolled as AdvanceEDU learners, and several more staff members are working towards their degrees with AdvanceEDU.
DSST and AdvanceEDU’s commitment to this partnership was taken a step further this summer when Cecilia Soto was brought on to work on this partnership. Cecilia is a Manager of College Success at DSST and she works with DSST dual enrolled students and also supports recruitment of students and alumni into the program. Cecilia is working closely with AdvanceEDU’s recruitment team and the DSST College Success team to make more DSST seniors aware of the opportunities available at AdvanceEDU. DSST aims to enroll at least 50 new students into the program starting in Fall 2022.
AdvanceEDU is a great post secondary option for students who want to work while in college and need a flexible college option. It’s also incredibly affordable with tuition equal to the maximum Pell grant amount, which means most students are able to attend debt-free. In addition, students who are uncertain on their career path will receive extensive career advising and support as well as paid work-based learning opportunities throughout their experience. Interested seniors should apply at www.myadvanceedu.org/apply. They’ll be supported through their transition to college with AdvanceEDU’s unique onboarding experience, which includes college prep and the opportunity to try out AdvanceEDU for free before they are fully enrolled in college courses.