City University of New York Trustees Approve New Resolution to End Remediation in Senior Colleges

January 26, 1999 | The University

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York has adopted a new resolution to phase out all remedial education in the baccalaureate degree programs at CUNY’s eleven senior colleges, starting in January of 2000, and continuing through September 2001, Chairwoman Anne A. Paolucci announced earlier this week.

The 10-5 vote took place on January 25th in the 750-seat theater of La Guardia Community College in Long Island City, and essentially repeated the terms of a resolution adopted at a May 26 1998 meeting. The initial resolution had called for a phase out of remediation in CUNY’s four years schools beginning in September of 1999.

Under the plan, the four colleges to be affected in the January 2000 first phase are Baruch, Brooklyn, Queens, and Hunter Colleges. Lehman College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The College of Staten Island, New York City Technical College and City College will be part of phase two in September 2000; and York College and Medgar Evers College will be included in September 2001.

The May 26 Board resolution was challenged in court as being in violation of the State’s Open Meetings Law. The suit contended that the CUNY Trustees boardroom at 535 E 80th St. was too small to accommodate all interested parties. State Supreme Court Justice Elliot Wilk granted the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction, which effectively halted CUNY from planning for or implementing the proposed changes.

While CUNY’s Board vigorously maintains that its May meeting satisfied legal requirements, today’s vote was taken to help prevent legal wrangling on the Open Meetings issue from further slowing implementation of the resolution.

Following the end of remediation at each school, students would be required to pass all three Freshman Skills Assessment Tests, (reading comprehension, essay writing and mathematics) as well as other admissions criteria in order to enroll as a freshman or to transfer into the senior colleges’ baccalaureate programs.

The resolution also states that “students seeking remediation shall be able to obtain such remediation services at a CUNY community college, at a senior college only during its summer sessions, or elsewhere as it may be made available.”

The resolution does not apply to ESL (English as a Second Language) students who received a secondary education abroad and who otherwise are not in need of remediation.

The Trustees also called for detailed plans for the resolution’s implementation at the respective colleges be presented to the Board by Interim Chancellor Christoph M. Kimmich and the senior college presidents by May 15, 1999.

Board Chairwoman Paolucci emphasized that “the University will continue to focus on strengthening collaborations with the public schools and developing innovative alternatives to current remedial instruction.”

Strategies being reviewed for broader and more effective applications include:

Expansion to all six community colleges of The College Now program, designed to help students make a smooth transition from high school to college by identifying and resolving remedial needs while students are still in high school.

  • Expansion of the pre-freshman summer skills programs to include evening and weekend classes
  • Basic skills immersion programs and language immersion programs during the academic year.

Resolution

Resolved, That all remedial course instruction shall be phased-out of all baccalaureate degree programs at the CUNY senior colleges as of the following dates: January 2000, for Baruch, Brooklyn, Queens, and Hunter Colleges; September 2000, for Lehman, John Jay, Staten Island, New York City Technical, and City Colleges; and September 2001, for York and Medgar Evers Colleges. Following a college’s discontinuation of remediation, no student who has not passed all three Freshman Skills Assessment Tests, and any other admissions criteriawhich may exist, shall be allowed to enroll and/or transfer into that college’s baccalaureate degree programs. Students seeking admission to CUNY senior college baccalaureate degree programs who are in need of remediation shall be able to obtain such remediation services at a CUNY community college, at a senior college only during its summer sessions, or elsewhere as may be made available. This resolution does not apply to ESL students who received a secondary education abroad and who otherwise are not in need of remediation; and be it further

Resolved, That the Interim Chancellor and the senior college presidents shall, after consultation with the faculty, present a detailed plan for implementation of this resolution at the respective colleges to the Board of Trustees by May 15, 1999.