Through the College-Community Connections (CCC) initiative, New York City community-based organizations (CBOs) and colleges and universities collaborate to introduce high school students from underserved communities to liberal arts education. In 2015, the Foundation contracted with the Research Alliance of New York City Schools to conduct an evaluability assessment on measuring program outcomes for dissemination. Their recommendations helped develop a request for proposals that refined Phase V toward evaluation across all funded projects.
In fall 2015, proposals for grant awards of up to $300,000 over three years were invited. Applicants were required to illustrate work plans that include: liberal arts instruction by post-secondary faculty; attention to academic rigor; acclimation to the college campus environment; mentorship by undergraduate students; college access programming, including tours and visits, application assistance, and financial aid literacy; and assessment of progress.
In spring 2017, the Foundation collaborated with the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) to host a forum gathering over 100 representatives from community-based organizations, institutions of higher education, and philanthropy. They shared reflections on partnerships between institutions of higher education and local communities, introduced the College-Community Connections model, and highlighted the importance