Kingsborough Community College ‘New Start’ Program Helps Students Fulfill Academic Potential After Initial Failure

January 3, 2007 | Kingsborough Community College

Kingsborough Community College “New Start” Program Helps Students
Fulfill Academic Potential After Initial Failure

More Than 12,000 Students Given A Second Chance at Higher Education

Brooklyn, Jan. 3 — Kingsborough Community College (KCC), Brooklyn’s only community college, today announced that its “New Start” Program has given more than 12,000 college drop-outs a second chance at a college degree since the program’s inception in 1985. “New Start” is a strategic program offering one-on-one counseling, an array of specialized student services and a support structure designed to penetrate and eradicate the problems leading to their initial academic failure. KCC’s New Start program is the only one of its kind in the country.
“A myriad of problems can contribute to academic failure and dropping out of college. ‘New Start’ has been successful at getting to the heart of those problems, through a unique, three-tiered counseling approach, and getting derailed students back on track. The program enjoys a retention rate of 63% and holds a great deal of promise for the future,” said Dr. Regina Peruggi, president of Kingsborough Community College. “We are pleased that this program restores their self-esteem and leads to the fulfillment of their earning potential which, over a lifetime, is substantially higher than that of a high school graduate.”
The “New Start” program began with fifty-one students who were dismissed from Brooklyn College. Since that time, enrollment has increased to more than 1,700 each semester and the number of participating colleges has increased to twenty-four; eleven City University colleges, four State University colleges, and nine private colleges. “New Start” students make up approximately 13% of the college’s enrollment.
“New Start” students are admitted to Kingsborough Community College in good academic standing, unencumbered by their past academic failures. Only new grades earned after program admission are included in their Kingsborough grade point average. And because they are allowed to transfer up to 30 credits to KCC, almost half of the credits needed to earn an associate degree, their academic progress is accelerated.
Following graduation from the New Start Program, students are guaranteed admission to one of CUNY’s senior colleges. Students have also been accepted at SUNY colleges and universities as well as private universities.
Key to the success of the “New Start” program is the ability of its administrators to envision student development services in terms of clusters. The primary service clusters are entering services, assisting students in meeting their needs as they make their initial connection with the institution; supporting services, assisting students in their progress through the institution; and culminating services, helping students with the transition to work or further education.
One-on-one counseling is a central component of the novel program. Each student is assigned to counselors who are extraordinarily prepared to address the unique issues of the New Start population.
The academic achievements of “New Start” students have more than justified the creation of the second chance program. Twenty-one percent of the KCC dean’s list are “New Start” students; ten percent of the 2006 Phi Theta Kappa inductees are “New Start” students; eleven percent of the 41st Annual Award Ceremony were “New Start” students; and a large number of “New Start” students have been graduates of KCC’s rigorous nursing program.
“A second chance was all I needed to get my life together, and KCC’s ‘New Start’ program gave that to me,” said Margaret Belizarie, an assistant to higher education officer in the Office of Academic Affairs. Ms. Belizarie came to the college as a “New Start” student in 1988 after leaving Brooklyn College because her grade point average dropped below 2.0 due to distractions unrelated related to her academic abilities. She had maintained a high grade average throughout high school. She graduated from KCC in 1992 with an A.A.S. in travel and tourism. She continued her education at York College where she a received a B.A. in Sociology.

About Kingsborough Community College:

Kingsborough Community College is located on a 70-acre campus in Manhattan Beach, on the southern tip of Brooklyn, New York. It was founded in 1963 and serves approximately thirty thousand students per year, offering a wide range of credit and non-credit courses in the liberal arts and career education, as well as a number of specialized programs. The breathtaking Kingsborough Community College campus overlooks three bodies of water: Sheepshead Bay, Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Kingsborough serves a widely diverse student population and ranks among the top community colleges in the country in associate degrees awarded to minority students.
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Contact: Ruby Ryles
Office of Public Relations
718-368-5543