SmartPath to College (Citi Postsecondary Success Program -CPSP)

For most students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, one of the largest and poorest districts in the U.S., attending college remains a dream. Piloted in three high schools, reaching at least 1,500 students, The Education Fund’s Citi Postsecondary Success Program (CPSP) is an initiative that creates and strengthens a coordinated support network committed to fulfilling the educational dreams and expectations of all students.  

CPSP was established in 2009 by The Citi Foundation with a five-year grant to the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and the Public Education Network (PEN) to launch the initiative through the coordination of three local education funds in Miami-Dade, Philadelphia and San Francisco

Specifically, The Education Fund is working in three high schools, Miami Beach, Miami Southridge and Westland Hialeah, to embed a “college-going” culture, empowering low-income and/or first-generation students with effective strategies and services to bring down the formidable barriers to higher education. In the community, The Education Fund brings together a diverse coalition of stakeholders to search for ideas and to support resources that connect and commit the entire community to graduate and educate our young people.  

In the Schools 
By participating in College LEAP (Lift Every Aspiration) Clubs, 10th-, 11th- and 12th- grade students learn, from trained teachers and counselors, how to research colleges, complete the FAFSA and negotiate the complex applications for financial-aid and scholarships. Immersed in essay writing, test taking and assessment tools such as career evaluations, students not only learnthe skills needed to apply for and succeed in college, but also to make college the goal, as evidenced by surveys where 100% of pilot year students developed a plan to make college a reality. Up to 750 students in each class participate in campus visits to local colleges, which provide to many a first glimpse of academia and an audience with admissions counselors. Parent involvement and workshop attendance is rewarded, and students are matched with campus-based tutors and mentors.  

In the Community 
CPSP builds a collaborative network of nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, vocational programs, the school district, businesses and local leaders who are all committed to increasing availability of direct services, but have never before collaborated. CPSP inventories and reinvigorates existing resources that were under-utilized, such as tutoring, funding, and college-visit programs, while creating dialogue between new partners to galvanize community efforts. The work to design a successful sustainable model for long-term change is challenging, but critical to creating a promising future for all our children. CPSP partners are united by their commitment to provide the services and resources necessary for students, especially those under-represented in postsecondary education, to fulfill their dreams of attending and succeeding in college.  

For more information, contact:
Lisa Ciacci
Program Director

sponsored by


                                                      Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation