Stay the Course is based on research that proves there’s more than money keeping these students from graduating. Run in partnership with Tarrant County College and the University of Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), Stay the Course was launched in 2013 with the simple goal to increase college graduation rates amongst low-income and new-to-college students. Each student that was selected for Stay the Course had to meet specific requirements including GPA, financial situation and credit hours.
“We’ve seen this right here in Tarrant County where tens of thousands of low-income young adults go to community college in hopes of gaining the skills necessary to earn a living wage. The problem is that 9 out of 10 first-time, full-time enrollees at Tarrant County College never finish their degree. Why? The most common reason these people drop out is that life gets in the way—their child gets sick, their computer gets stolen; their car breaks down. These events, when they confront a nonpoor family, are an inconvenience, for the poor they can be devastating.”
— Jim Sullivan, Co-Founder of LEO
Stay the Course is designed to provide eligible students comprehensive support services to reduce community college dropout rates.
Program staff works one-on-one with students to help them manage obstacles, access financial assistance, and create a path that helps each student make it to graduation. We are looking at every factor that keeps someone from graduating – from reduced income to loss of household to medical emergencies – and providing social support that helps them succeed.
of Texas undergraduate students
attend school part time
By 2020 54% of Texas jobs
will require education beyond high school.