Arizona College Access Network

The 2019-20 academic year was a big one for AzCAN. Learn more about the innovative work our community of college access professionals has engaged in to accelerate student success across the state.

More than thirty college advisers pose on a staricase for a group photo.

AdviseAZ

Together with our partners Earn to Learn and Americorps, we created the AdviseAZ program to ensure that more low-income, first-generation high school students in Arizona benefit from personalized college advising. Advisers, who are current college students and recent graduates, help students navigate the college admissions and financial aid processes from beginning to end so that they are prepared to enroll and succeed in college.

AdviseAZ on Social:

Impact Snapshot

4,136

students served (estimated)

33

schools served
across 8 counties

18,000

hours of advising
provided

65

AmeriCorps
member advisers

Project Benjamin

In October 2019, the Benji chatbot began talking with high school students across Arizona about the FAFSA. Since then, Benji has helped nearly 15,000 users find answers to their questions, stay on track to complete the FAFSA, and stay connected during the pandemic.

Project Benjamin, the driving force behind Benji, is a joint effort among AzCAN, Arizona State University, Achieve60AZ, the Arizona Commission on Postsecondary Education, Helios Education Foundation, Mesa Public Schools, Maricopa Community Colleges, Be A Leader Foundation, and AdmitHub. The project is funded by Schmidt Futures.

Project Benjamin on Social:

The AskBenji chatbot logo, which is a green robot with an electrical plug for a face.

21

participating
school districts

14,980

chatbot users

39,789

questions
received

324,348

answers and
reminders sent

High school students and a college advisor work together at a long table in a common area at a school.

College Knowing
& Going Initiative

AzCAN piloted the development of new community-based College Readiness Teams in 2019 as part of Helios Education Foundation’s College Knowing & Going Initiative. These teams—made up of high school administration, counselors, teachers, AmeriCorps members, postsecondary partners, community members and a College Knowing & Going coordinator—collaborate to identify effective strategies for increasing college readiness and access, and strengthening the college-going culture in ways that are specific to the needs of their communities. Additionally, participating schools received stipend funds to implement action plans developed by their College Readiness Teams.

12

schools piloted
College Readiness
Teams

9

participating
counties in Arizona

96%

of team members believe their teams created postsecondary goals and action steps reflect equity priorities

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