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Bronx Community College and LaGuardia Community College to Launch First-of-Its-Kind Program for Part-Time Students with Support from The Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity

June 26, 2018

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NEW YORK, Nearly 40% of community college students at the City University of New York (CUNY) attend part-time, and the majority of those students face significant barriers to degree completion. To support CUNY’s efforts to get more part-time students to the finish line, the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) will provide $3.9 million over five years to implement new programs at the Bronx Community College and the LaGuardia Community College.

The LaGuardia Community College Part-Time Completion Initiative and the Bronx Community College Advancing Part-Time Excellence (APEX) Program will launch in fall 2018 and over five years, they will support 400-500 students who have at some point enrolled part-time and have plans to continue to do so. The design principles of the programs are informed by the insights of campus educators about the needs of their part-time students, as well as by practices adapted from Guttman Community College and CUNY ASAP—two of the nation’s most successful community college completion initiatives created at CUNY.

Students will be asked to commit to earning 18 credits/year and, in turn, the colleges will provide program participants with a dedicated advisor, priority course registration, career development, and counseling to encourage full-time enrollment. Importantly, and with an eye toward academic momentum, students will be encouraged to enroll in intersessions as a way to break free of the traditional mindset that the fall and spring semesters are the only time to earn college credit.

These programs aim to increase student engagement and retention by requiring and supporting a level of enrollment intensity and continuity that will lead to increased degree completion. “CUNY knows the significant benefits of encouraging students to enroll full-time, but we understand as well the need to find ways to increase degree attainment for part-time students. It is exciting to find a partner in NYC Opportunity for this important work,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Donna Linderman.

Dr. Claudia V. Schrader, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Success at CUNY’s Bronx Community College is excited that the “Advancing Part-time Excellence (APEX) program will bring needed attention and resources to a segment of the student population that fills our classrooms. APEX will be an effective pathway to timely completion for part-time students.”

The programs will be rigorously evaluated and studied so that CUNY and NYC Opportunity can measure the impact of the programs and build a knowledge base for ongoing efforts to support the needs of part-time college students seeking college degrees.

“Supporting students in continuing their educations and achieving college degrees is a key way we can help them overcome or avoid poverty,” said Matthew Klein, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “NYC Opportunity is proud to partner with CUNY to get this important and innovative program off the ground, and we are excited to help more community college students complete their degrees.”

P“Part-time college students often face multiple barriers to timely degree completion,” said Carson Hicks, Deputy Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “With this new program, students will receive additional supports to help them earn the necessary credits to graduate. NYC Opportunity looks forward to studying the results of the program and using this evidence to improve how we address the needs of part-time students.”

The City University of New York
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

The Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity
The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) uses evidence and innovation to reduce poverty and increase equity. It advances research, data and design in the City’s program and policy development, service delivery, and budget decisions. NYC Opportunity’s work includes analyzing existing anti-poverty approaches, developing new interventions, facilitating the sharing of data across City agencies, and rigorously assessing the impact of key initiatives. NYC Opportunity manages a discrete fund and works collaboratively with City agencies to design, test and oversee new programs and digital products. It also produces research and analysis of poverty and social conditions, including its influential annual Poverty Measure, which provides a more accurate and comprehensive picture of poverty in New York City than the federal rate.