Its Never Too Early, Never Too Late
At The City University of New York
From their schoolhouse
window, the Jovine sisters, Ashley, 7, and Crystal, 6, can see
century-old oak and maple trees, and the genius of architect Stanford
White: neoclassical tan-bricked creations and a copper-domed treasure
inspired by the Pantheon of the ancients. These uplifting surroundings
are unique to the Family College, an innovative program
on the campus of Bronx Community College where parents can pursue
college degrees while their children attend classes from preschool
through the second grade.
A short subway ride
away, John Romo, 71, is preparing for an advanced degree
in mechanical engineering at City College in Manhattan. A native
of Chile, Romo worked in architectural design in New York City
before pursuing his high school equivalency degree, then going
on to Borough of Manhattan Community College and City College
where he received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering
last June. I'm grateful to The City University of New York
for helping me to achieve my dreams, he said.
Ashley, Crystal and
John Romo are just three of the thousands of studentssome
very young, some retirees and some somewhere in betweenwho
are participating in the lifetime of learning opportunities at
The City University of New York. They are proof positive that
when it comes to CUNY, its never too early and never too
late to begin thinking about a college education.
The City University
of New York provides opportunities for advancement through higher
education for tens of thousands of familiesæfrom young children
to recent high school graduates to parents and grandparents,
said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. Our students appreciate
the importance of a quality education in the marketplace of ideas
The educational offerings
are innovative, comprehensive and available in all five boroughs.
Child care centers serve 2,500 young children of students at all
19 CUNY campuses. Nearly one in four CUNY students are parents.
In cooperation with the Board of Education, more than 300 students
from pre-kindergarten through second grade attend Family Colleges
at three community college campuses where their parents pursue
For the enterprising
high school student, CUNYs College Now offers enriched courses
for college credit and skills development at 200 schools in all
five boroughs. Almost 30,000 students take advantage of this opportunity.
In addition fifteen public high schools that are affiliated with
CUNY, including three new special entrance schools, make their
homes on CUNY campuses in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. Over
8,000 students are enrolled this fall. CUNY Honors College, now
in its second year, is a sought-after challenging program for
academically high achieving students. Twenty-five hundred students
applied for 334 seats in the 2002-2003 Honors College freshman
Special programs are
geared to older students, including Queens Colleges Adult
Collegiate Education (ACE), open to students over 25, and Kingsborough
Community Colleges My Turn for seniors, even
those who do not yet have a high school diploma. The CUNY BA program
is another offering popular with older students that allows them
to take classes at multiple colleges. For the working student,
eight colleges offer degrees that can be earned entirely on the
weekend. Senior citizens pursue a college degree tuition-free
at six community colleges. At the four-year colleges senior citizens
may audit classes, on a space available basis, for $70 per semester.
And each year more
than 200,000 New Yorkers of all ages enroll in degree credit courses
and more than 205,000 in a myriad of adult and continuing education
programs offered each year at all CUNY colleges.
Its a wealth
of opportunities. Ashley Jovine and John Romo are just two of
the success stories that span the generations. Others include:
75 years old, and a grandfather of ten, who graduated from Lehman
College in June with a Masters Degree in Special Education
is planning to continue there for another graduate degree in speech,
language and hearing, with an eye on becoming a speech pathologist.
In the meantime he is considering offers to teach the disabled
full-time. He has a particular interest in the field because his
son, now an accountant and a lawyer, has suffered from Tourettes
syndrome. He chose special education because, after retiring as
an enrollment management consultant at SUNY Maritime College,
he decided it was time to make a career change. It
is one of several careers he has enjoyed. During World War II
he was a pilot and supply officer with the rank of lieutenant
j.g. in the Navy Aeronautical Division. After the war he graduated
from Baruch College in 1954 with a degree in marketing management
and went on to a rewarding career in the aeronautical industry,
first helping to build several of the engines that fly military
aircraft, and later in human resources.
Mr. Lakind is now thinking
about adding theater arts or Russian to his curriculum, as well.
As long as you learn, you live, he says.
Luka Levi, three
and a half years old, whose parents speak Serbo-Croatian at home,
has learned English this year in the Childrens Learning
Center at Hunter College. His mother is a graduate chemistry student
75, who was born in Barbados, spent 28 years in the plastic fabrication
industry, first in England, and then in the United States after
being sent here by his employer in 1982 to supervise one of its
contracts. When he retired in 1994, he decided he wanted to do
something entirely different. He worked at the New York City Health
and Hospital Corporation, first as a volunteer and then as a customer
services representative. A graduate of a technical college in
England, with a passion for knowledge and strong encouragement
from his large family, which includes 16 children and 16 grandchildren,
and former colleagues, he enrolled in Kingsborough Community College,
where he earned an AAS degree in community health in 1998. Continuing
his education at York College, he earned a B.S. degree in Health
Sciences last June. Recruited by a former supervisor at HHC after
graduation, he is currently a customer services outreach representative
84, put college on hold to help support his parents and siblings
during the Great Depression. Then he joined the Army during World
War II and next came the responsibilities of raising a family.
Sixty-five years passed before Zweiter, a Riverdale resident,
returned to the books after his first few semesters in the 1930s.
In January, he accepted a political science degree from Hunter
College, culminating an undergraduate career that was suspended
to live through events his fellow students only read about in
their history books. He began his collegiate career at City College,
but the Depression cut his studies short. As the oldest child,
he was responsible for helping his immigrant parents put food
on the table of their Lower East Side apartment. He decided to
focus on work and wound up owning his own grocery store in Bensonhurst.
He got married and served in World War II where he was an Army
radio specialist. He was responsible for stringing communication
wires along the French coast ahead of the allied troop landings.
After the war, he went to work in the clothing industry and helped
to raise three children. He retired at age 74. Six years later,
his wife and children convinced him to go back to school. With
his undergraduate studies behind him, Zweiter has no intention
of taking a break. He would like to get a master's degree in either
Jewish studies or political science.
76, earned an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts with honors in
June from Kingsborough Community College. A great-grandmother,
her children have baccalaureate degrees and her grandchildren
have masters degrees. After retiring from the telephone
company in 1988, where she worked as a business representative,
she decided it was her turn. The My Turn program for
seniors offered her the way. Mrs. Constantinou liked it so much,
she has volunteered in the office. Now she is thinking about continuing
her studies at Brooklyn College.
five and a half years old, has learned that a good sense of humor
helps make friends with other children in the Child Development
Center at Queens College where his mother is a student.
four years old, is starting his second semester at LaGuardia Community
Colleges Early Childhood Learning Center. His mother is
studying English as a Second Language at LaGuardia.
Mildred Guillermo began
her college education at Borough of Manhattan College in 1997
with her one year old daughter Karina Fernandez in tow.
Karina, now 6, has entered first grade, having completed her stay
at the BMCC Early Childhood Development Center. Her mom is a graduate
of BMCC and is studying for her bachelor's degree at CUNY's City
College Center for Worker Education in Tribeca.
When Violet Jolly,
76, graduated from Medgar Evers College in June with a B.A. in
Psychology, it was with a great sense of satisfaction. She had
fulfilled a decades-old promise she made to her father that she
would finish her education when she left her homeland of Barbados.
After attaining her GED, Mrs. Jolly took a long time off from
school to raise her family and to work in home care. Everyone
else in her family completed their education. When the time came
to go back to college, Medgar Evers appealed to her because it
offered night classes and because the student body reflected her
cultural background. All the while she was enrolled, she continued
working and taking care of grandchildren. She likes to think she
is setting an example for future generations as some of her professors
were her own role models. Keeping your mind active keeps
you young, she said.
three years old, and her twin sister Tania, have been enrolled
since May in the Child Care Center at Queensborough Community
College where their mother, Farzaneh Taheri is a nursing student. Fellow
students are another set of twins, four-year-old Tasnia Nokib and her sister Thasin, who are
doing their own learning while their mother Afroza Kharom is a computer information
And then theres
Pat Panzarino, who last June graduated from the College
of Staten Island at the age of 81. He started college 51 years
after high school and took 12 years to complete a B.A. in Anthropology.
I gave myself plenty of time and did a lot of research,
A radioman first class
in the Navy during World War II, he worked for 40 years as a technical
supervisor in the overseas control room of RCA Global Communications.
During that time he worked on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space
programs as part of the ground support team. His momentos include
a medallion he was awarded made of metal from the spacecraft Eagle
that landed on the moon and the space craft Columbia that orbited
Spurred on by his familys
college historyhis late wife graduated from Hunter College
and all four of his children also received college degrees æ
he enrolled at CSI. Like many other senior students he said, I
brought my knowledge and experience from my lifetime to the college.
done yet. Hell continue taking art and music classes. He
wants to pursue a Masters Degree in Anthropology. Goals
are important in life at any age, he said.
The City University
of New York, the nations leading urban public university,
comprises 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, a graduate
school, a law school and a medical school. More than 207,000 degree-credit
students and more than 205,000 continuing and professional education
students are enrolled throughout the five boroughs of the City
of New York. For more information visit www.cuny.edu.