The City University Records Largest Freshman Class Increase In More Than Two Decades

September 10, 2001 | The University

Fall freshman enrollment at The City University of New York’s 11 senior colleges increased by 7.7 per cent, the largest increase in more than two decades, according to preliminary data released today.

The record rate of growth in incoming high school graduates helped to boost overall University enrollment to 198,135. This marked the second straight year of gains at a time when the University has adopted rigorous new testing and has raised admissions standards at its four-year institutions.

Gains were posted at virtually all levels of the University. The community colleges recorded an enrollment of 63,856, up 1.6 per cent. First time graduate students increased by 6.6 per cent at the 10 University institutions offering graduate degrees, according to the preliminary data.

Enrollment at the CUNY Law School, which last year achieved its highest first-time pass rates among graduates taking the New York State Bar examination, climbed 15.4 per cent to 442. This represents the school’s strongest freshman enrollment increase since its founding in 1982.

The University is also the choice of more transfer students seeking to complete their undergraduate academic careers. The preliminary data shows the number of students transferring to City University this Fall increased 4.5 per cent to nearly 15,000 students.

“Our newest freshmen have voted with their feet. Students are turning to the City University’s senior colleges in record numbers,” said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. “In two short years we have raised standards at our senior colleges while preserving the University’s historic commitment to opportunity for all citizens of New York City.”

The preliminary data indicate that incoming first-year students at the senior colleges are scoring higher in the University administered skills assessment test as well as the Scholastic Aptitude Test. This year, average SAT scores at the top five senior colleges ranged from 1085 to 1136. In 1996, the range was between 996 and 1074.

In addition to raising standards, the University created a number of high-profile programs such the University Honors College, increased outreach efforts such as “CUNY Fairs” in neighborhoods throughout the city and strengthened summer immersion programs for students who need to sharpen their basic reading, writing and mathematics skills.

The Honors College inaugural class enrolled 214 academically talented students from a pool of almost 1,700 applicants. Many of those who unsuccessfully sought admission to the Honors College have enrolled in traditional programs at the colleges. They discovered the hundreds of high-quality academic offerings, the first class facilities, the affordable tuition and the numerous scholarships programs such as the New York City Council Academic Scholars, a program exclusive to CUNY which pays nearly half tuition for students who maintain a “B” average.

Notable Fall 2001 initiatives include the opening of Baruch College’s “vertical campus,” a 17-story academic complex in Manhattan that consolidates classrooms, offices and other facilities formerly located in rental space. In Queens, York College is expanding its internships with the federal Food and Drug Administration, which maintains its Northeastern Laboratory and regional headquarters at the college’s Jamaica campus.

The University has also introduced a number of exciting programs that offer students opportunities in expanding areas of employment. Examples include:

  • The Borough of Manhattan Community College program in Multimedia Programming and Design provides students with cutting edge skills and has been locally and nationally recognized for its excellence. It has received major grants from the NSF and Microsoft, and has placed students in internships and jobs in nearby “Silicon Alley.”
  • The University has introduced two programs in Biomedical Engineering that promise to be among the finest in the country. The Graduate School and University Center now offers a PhD and City College of New York offers a Masters of Science in the field. CUNY has an exceptionally strong faculty with expertise in Biomedical Engineering and is home to the New York Center for Biomedical Engineering at City College.
  • Medgar Evers College is starting a program in Applied Management leading to a Bachelor of Professional Studies. This unique program will enable experienced workers in technical, health and human services fields to gain the advanced conceptual skills in management and administration they need to advance their careers by becoming managers or supervisors in their fields of expertise.
  • The Graduate School and University Center has two new programs that respond to contemporary challenges in the field of education. The first is a PhD in Urban Education, which will educate scholars who will focus on the curricular and policy issues that affect contemporary education in our society. The second is a Certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. This program is available only to students in the institution’s doctoral programs, and will enable them to integrate new media technology in the college classroom.
  • New York City Technical College is introducing three innovative certificate programs that are related to its unique Bachelor of Technology program in Entertainment Technology. Behind-the-scenes professionals in the entertainment industry will now be able to acquire cutting-edge technical training in Lighting Systems Technology, Sound Systems Technology, and Scenic Construction.
  • In response to new State requirements for licensure, Hunter College now offers a graduate program in Physical Therapy through its Schools of Health Professions. Students will be able to earn a Master of Physical Therapy, enabling them to become licensed Physical Therapists.