College and Career Access, Persistence and Success (CCAPS)


  • Mara Botman (Vivo Foundation)
  • Caleb Herod (The Chicago Community Trust)
  • Dinaz Mansuri (The Mayer and Morris Kaplan Foundation)

College and Career Access, Persistence, and Success (CCAPS) is a learning community focused on increasing postsecondary opportunities and outcomes for Chicago-area students. CCAPS broadly defines postsecondary education to include both 2- and 4-year colleges and universities as well as progressive postsecondary pathways. Our learning agenda explores:

  • Preparation and access to postsecondary education opportunities
  • Enrollment, persistence, and success in postsecondary education
  • Successful transitioning to careers that meet aspirations

We learn together for the purpose of putting our learning into action, either through our individual organizations or through collective action

Research and Reports

CCAPS has worked with consultants to learn more about the post-secondary landscape and explore how to increase college access and completion rates, generating the following reports:

The most recent report, Concept Paper: Prioritizing College Completion In and Around Chicago, calls for the launch of the Partnership for College Completion, a new organization with the mission to catalyze and champion policies, systems, and practices that ensure all students – particularly low-income, first-generation students – graduate from college and achieve their career aspirations. Learn more about the Partnership for College Completion at their website.

In addition to the college completion work being taken on by the Partnership, a number of other postsecondary priorities were identified in the Stakeholder Feedback and Recommendations for Advancing Chicago’s Postsecondary Access and Success Report.  The Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance launched a Progressive Postsecondary Pathways Fund to promote the development of a Chicagoland education and workforce system with a seamless transition from secondary to post-secondary programs by expanding the universe of transparent and accessible progressive pathways to postsecondary success. Here is an overview of the Progressive Postsecondary Pathways Fund.

To streamline reporting activities and deliverables for organizations in the area of college and career access, persistence and success, several foundations and nonprofits came together in the spring of 2017 to envision and develop a common reporting framework. The framework now consists of two semiannual reports. Participating foundations and nonprofits are excited about the benefits that this common framework can offer organizations, and support its adoption more broadly across the field. You can find the Common Reporting Framework here. If you are interested in joining the Common Reporting Framework, please email Key Montgomery at


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