ASAP Holds Graduation: New Program a Success

May 26, 2010 | Bronx Community College

Bronx, NY – Bronx Community College’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) graduated its first cohort of students on April 30, 2010. ASAP is a new City University of New York academic program designed to help community college students graduate in three years. According to the national average, it takes a community college graduate six years to get his or her degree. At commencement on May 28, BCC’s ASAP will reach a 50 percent graduation rate for the original 118 liberal arts and business major students who entered the program three years ago. 

The spring 2010 ASAP graduation and awards ceremony was held in the Gould Memorial Library Rotunda. Dr. John Davis, BCC’s former chair of Biology and first director of ASAP, commended students for their hard work in achieving their goals. He told the students to always think of ASAP as meaning achievement, success and pride.

“ASAP represents The City University of New York’s efforts to help ambitious community college students, who meet skills and financial requirements, to fast-track their studies towards graduation,” said BCC President Carolyn G. Williams.

Students in the program are offered tuition assistance, free subway cards, free use of books, and a minimum of two sessions with counselors each month. They are also guaranteed entry into certain classes (which can be competitive in the crowded CUNY system). Their classes are consolidated into morning, afternoon, evening, or weekend block schedules to help them balance school, work, and domestic responsibilities. ASAP students take 12 credits each semester, making them eligible for more financial aid, if applicable, and positioning them for graduation within the targeted three years. The uniqueness of ASAP students is their commitment to making sure they get tutoring when they need it, seeing their advisor and career specialist on a regular basis, and attending all program events.

“In reality we are using higher education to prepare better educated citizens and people to be leaders,” said Davis, a trained microbiologist who has been a professor at the College for 40 years. He shared that ASAP was the idea of CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2007. The program is also designed to prepare students for higher paying jobs in the workforce and/or to continue at a four-year college. It is funded by the city and Mayor Bloomberg’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO). Davis, who will retire as the program’s director, maintained that the results of the graduating class are proof of the future potential for ASAP.

During the ceremony, academic excellence awards went to Hope Ivoko, Michael Zukin and Kamalou Yaya (who had the highest grade point average). The advisor’s awards, for students who showed persistence and resilience for overcoming serious difficulties, went to Carlos Roldan and Nabil Djoumbaye.

“I hardly got to know you. You moved along so fast – in and out of Bronx Community College,” stated George Sanchez, senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “That’s the way that it should be. In the world of higher education you need to make rapid progress because there is no time to lose. You have other goals and challenges to take on as you advance on your higher education paths or into the workplace.”   

ASAP is currently recruiting a new group of students who will start in fall 2010.  Visit www.bcc.cuny.edu/asap for more information.

Founded in 1957, Bronx Community College (BCC), the oldest of City University of New York’s six community colleges, serves as the engine for academic and economic mobility for motivated students from diverse backgrounds and preparations. More than 11,000 students from over 109 nations are enrolled in 30 associate degree and certificate programs including Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Computer Graphics, Nuclear Medicine, and Business Administration, Digital Arts, Computer Information Systems, Education Associate, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Marketing, Accounting, Human Services, Media Technology and Paralegal Studies. BCC’s 43-acre campus, high above the Harlem River, features architectural masterpieces of Stanford White and Marcel Breuer, as well as the Hall of Fame of Great Americans, the nation’s first hall of fame. BCC President Carolyn G. Williams is in her 14th year of leadership service to the College, which is located on a 43-acre campus at 2155 University Avenue at West 181st Street , formerly New York University’s uptown campus until 1973.

The College is home to initiatives not commonly associated with two-year institutions, such as the Center for Sustainable Energy, which promotes the use of renewable and efficient energy technologies in urban communities. The National Center for Educational Alliances (NCEA) ) is currently collaborating with South African Further Education and Training Colleges and universities to create linkages between these institutions and is also working to enhance student and academic support at the colleges.. NCEA also coordinates the College’s global initiative which facilitates global learning within and outside of the classroom.

Bryant Mason / (718) 289-5208 / bryant.mason@bcc.cuny.edu