May 18-19, 2020

San Francisco Bay Area 

Thank you for joining us at the inaugural CAP College Success Institute. Please plan to join us next year on May 18-19, 2020 for the second annual CAP College Success Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Nationally, only 11% of low-income students graduate from college by age 24. This is not enough. This year, professionals from across the country will convene at the CAP College Success Institute to share best practices and strategies that help increase the college graduation rate of low-income and first-generation students. Professionals from community-based and direct-service organizations, representatives from colleges and universities, and technology innovators are invited to attend.


  • Understanding the challenges faced by low-income and first-generation college students 
  • Leveraging technology solutions such as data management, analysis, and direct tools 
  • Financing an education with financial aid, debt reduction, and scholarships 
  • Best practices in direct service intervention, including coaching  


The College Success Institute is hosted by CAP, which supports nearly 600 students through the successful completion of their college degrees, as quickly and with as little debt as possible. While nationally just 11% of low-income students have a college degree by age 24 (or six years), 86% of CAP students are on track to graduate in six years. CAP is a program of Making Waves Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit.



The CAP College Success Institute will take place at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina (200 Marina Blvd., Berkeley, California, 94710). The room block for this event can be found here


More detailed information will be announced this fall. Please sign up below if you would like to receive updates.

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Download the agenda here. The agenda may be subject to change.



Paul Tough is the author of the New York Times best-seller, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. His two other books include: (i) Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why; and (ii) Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America. Tough has written for the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and had an op-ed published through the New York Times.




Eric Abrams has over 25 years of experience in higher education and currently serves as Stanford Graduate School of Education’s Chief Inclusion Officer, where he is committed to building a more inclusive community on campus. This role allows Abrams to work with the brightest minds in education—and he believes Stanford’s students, faculty, and staff are truly the best of the best—while pursuing his desire to help build an inclusive and diverse community. Abram’s mission is to help the Graduate School of Education become an intentional community of grace. Abrams’s previous experience includes serving as the Director of Diversity Initiatives at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and also as Stanford’s Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Admissions. Read an interview with Eric on our blog.


Jaime Casap serves as Google’s Chief Education Evangelist, weaving together technology and education. At Google, Jaime led the effort to launch Gsuite into the university and K12 space.  He also led the effort to bring Chromebooks to classrooms around the world. Read an interview with Jaime on our blog.





Khristina Gonzalez currently serves as the Associate Dean of the College and as the Director of Programs for Access and Inclusion at Princeton University. Gonzalez helps to shape the experience of historically under-represented and underserved undergraduate students on campus.Additionally, Gonzalez developed the “Ways of Thinking” curriculum with Princeton’s Freshman Scholars Institute, a summer program designed to acclimate incoming freshmen into student life at Princeton University.




Dr. Esther Hugo has dedicated her life to enhancing the lives of students. Hugo currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in the graduate counseling department at San Jose State University College of Education and is also one of the first online instructors in the UCLA College Counseling Certificate Program, later being recognized with their Distinguished Instructor Award. Esther is an award-winning writer for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) College Counseling Fundamentals textbook and received NACAC’s highest honor in 2011, the Gayle C. Wilson Award for Excellence in College Counseling. She currently serves as a Past-President of the Western Association for College Admission Counseling.