Statement by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein On New York State Board of Regents Vote Affirming CUNY Efforts to Raise Standards

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein praised the New York State Board of Regents vote in support of the University policy on remediation at its senior colleges. “In the last three years we have raised admissions standards while growing enrollment with little change in the ethnic and racial composition of our student body,” the Chancellor said. “The unanimous vote of the Regents strongly endorses and affirms this University policy. I am pleased by the strong Regents’ recognition of the University’s success and the exemplary support of New York State Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills.”

The Chancellor noted that freshman enrollment at the senior colleges increased by 10.5% from 1999 to 2002. SAT scores of regularly admitted freshman rose from 1043 to 1066 from 1999-2002. At CUNY’s most selective senior colleges, the average SAT scores are approximately 1130. At the same time, the number of African-American students slightly increased, and there has been minimal change in the proportions of ethnic groups. The Chancellor noted that two-thirds of CUNY’s entering class are minority students.

The Chancellor pointed out that many options remain for CUNY students who need remedial instruction. Students may matriculate into an associate degree program offered at six community colleges and four senior colleges that offer associate degree programs. Students may also enroll in free summer and winter immersion programs; more than 17,000 students took advantage of these immersion programs this past summer. Extensive tutorial programs and computer-based reading, writing and math labs are available.

CUNY also offers the “Prelude to Success” program for eligible students to complete their education in one semester with instruction by community college faculty working at senior colleges. The “College Now” program, CUNY’s extensive program to improve college readiness of high school students, grew from 11,000 to 40,000 from 1999 to 2002 and is now available in every public high school. In the last three years support for these programs increased from $18 million to $33.2 million.

“We will continue to monitor this policy as we move forward and create new opportunities for our students consistent with our master plan,” the Chancellor said.