Dear Commons Community,
Yesterday, Chancellor James B. Milliken announced a new initiative to increase graduation rates at CUNY’s community colleges in a keynote address to the Association of Community College Trustees Leadership Congress, in San Diego. In his address, Milliken argued that the United States faces a “crisis in community college degree attainment” that requires dramatic changes in current policy. “As educators, it is not enough for us to provide just an opportunity for advancement. We have to take responsibility for equipping our students with the tools for seizing that opportunity and be held accountable when they do not.” As reported in Inside Education:
“All six CUNY community colleges will receive support to expand their Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) programs, as will three senior colleges that offer associate degrees: New York City College of Technology, College of Staten Island and Medgar Evers College. The CUNY expansion aims to increase the number of students in ASAP from 4,000 today to more than 25,000 by 2018. New York City is providing $42 million for the program’s expansion.
…the most dramatic change is planned for Bronx CC, where the general three-year graduation rate is 11 percent, but the ASAP participants’ graduation rate is 61 percent. CUNY plans to enroll all new full-time students at Bronx Community College in the program.
ASAP is only for full-time students, and about two-thirds of Bronx CC students attend full time. Part-timers will still enroll at the college, but CUNY officials hope that they will be attracted to the full-time program. Currently, 11 percent of full-time students at the college are in ASAP, a share that could go to 100 percent among full-timers during the expansion.
While the anticipated gains from ASAP, both at Bronx CC and across CUNY, are extremely ambitious, outside studies have verified the gains and suggested that the program could be expanded. The studies have found that it is a combination of policies (advising, full-time enrollment) and dollars (waiving tuition and fees) that appear to be making the difference for many students.”
This is good policy and I am sure that CUNY is thankful to New York City and Mayor Bill de Blasio for funding this initiative.