"It's awesome to know you have a place to call 'home' in college. The community we've all built is amazing!"
Metro Graduate

Our Approach

Metro Academies’ approach systematically combines proven lessons from prior research and demonstration programs to create a powerful program rooted in best practices.


We rely on four broad strategies:


  • Strengthening classroom engagement through interactive learning and relevant curriculum;
  • Integrating student support services into courses;
  • Expanding faculty professional development focused on engaging students;
  • Changing institutional policies to create optimal conditions for learning (e.g. expand student learning communities and writing-intensive courses, block register students as a cohort).

Metro is based on 10 Essential Elements:


  • Targeted Outreach for low-income, first generation or underrepresented students who are committed to pursuing a college degree and want a meaningful career.
  • Career Theme in a high growth field such as health, early childhood education, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), integrated into lower division general education coursework.
  • Institutional Alignment between community colleges and universities — all core courses satisfy graduation requirements for two-year and four-year degrees.
  • Real-World Content that engages the “big questions” and supports students to solve complex problems.
  • Community Engagement to deepen students’ commitment to personal and social responsibility.
  • Student Learning Community of Linked Courses with cohorted classes and shared themes.
  • Student Support Integrated into Courses — academic counseling, first year experience, early intervention, tutoring and personalized connections with campus services and financial aid.
  • Scaffolded and Reinforced Skills through repeated practice of clear competencies in writing, math, critical thinking and oral communication.
  • Faculty Learning Community to support collaboration, excellent teaching using engaged pedagogy and to foster a commitment to ensuring student success
  • Evaluation of students and program using dashboard indicators of success, including persistence and graduation rates, grade point average and credits accumulated.

Our Research

The Metro Academy of Health at SF State is our most mature program. Metro helps students build momentum because 100% of core classes satisfy graduation requirements for associate's and bachelor's degrees—regardless of whether classes are taken at a community college or university. Metro puts students on a clear, fast track to graduation and success.
Learn More