Metro Academy of Health Students at Continuation Ceremony

Metro Academies Initiative: College Completion with Excellence and Equity


Metro Academies are ‘schools within schools’ that gives students a personalized educational home. Outreach is focused on students who are first-generation, low-income and/or under-represented. Metro students work in a coherent program with a relevant and rigorous curriculum. Each Metro has about 140 students who take two linked classes together and study as a cohort over four semesters. Metro also provides student services tied in to classes, including academic and financial aid counseling, tutoring and early intervention follow-up for faltering students. In addition, Metro hosts a faculty learning community, which gives instructors 45 hours of professional development in tested ‘high-impact educational practices.’  Visit the Metro Academies website to learn more.


A community college or university can host any number of Metro Academies, each with a broad career theme. In 2008, San Francisco State and City College started two Metro Academies of Health, adding two more in 2010 with the theme of Early Childhood Education. Two more Academies of Science are now being planned, to begin in fall 2012.


Whether students take classes at the community college or at university, every Metro class counts for graduation with a bachelor’s degree for all 241 majors in the Cal State University system. At the community college, Metro is a general education transfer core. Metro is the nation’s first and only long-duration learning community that is completely aligned between community college and university levels.

California is currently 50th out of 50 states in the percentage of African American and Latino students who complete a bachelor’s degree relative to their percent in the population. Nationally, the gap in college completion between low-income students and more affluent students has doubled since 1975. To address these problems, San Francisco State University and City College of San Francisco have redesigned the first two years of college— the critical time when many students drop out. Our goals are to sharply raise graduation rates with associate and bachelor’s degrees, and to speed time to graduation.

Metro is funded by the James Irvine Foundation, Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education, and the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund.