Location, Location, Location

September 16, 2011 | Salute to Scholars, The University

CAMPUS TOUR: KINGSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Location, Location, Location

With a spectacular 70-acre campus in Manhattan Beach, on the southern tip of Brooklyn, Kingsborough Community College overlooks three bodies of water: Sheepshead Bay, Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the only college in New York City with its own beach. But private beach access is only one of the reasons why more than 30,000 students — 18,000 credit and 15,000 continuing education — attend this campus each year. There are more than 50 degree and certified programs to choose from, such as fashion design, surgical technology, culinary arts, engineering and communications technology, with some as unique as maritime technology, the only associate program of its kind at CUNY, teaching students both the operation and repair of vessels. Recently KCC launched a program in urban farming.

Established in 1963, KCC is the only community college in Brooklyn, a borough with a population of 2.7 million. It was named one of the top community colleges in the United States and was honored with a place on the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to America’s communities. KCC’s graduation rate is 35 percent, the highest of any community college in New York City and among the highest in the nation. Of those graduates, more than 70 percent go on to earn a bachelor’s degree. KCC pioneered the nationally acclaimed College Now program, a transition to college for moderate-achieving high school juniors and seniors. It has also initiated other collaborative programs with New York public schools like the Kingsborough Early College Secondary School and the Leon M. Goldstein High School for Sciences, also on campus.

The sprawling campus features the 743-seat Leon M. Goldstein Performing Arts Center and the 300-seat Marine and Academic Center (MAC) Playhouse, which sponsor hundreds of community events each year, including a free summer music festival and a performing arts festival; a 12,000-square-foot Marine and Academic Conference Center, a swimming pool, and 18 general purpose instructional computer labs. A host of the award-winning Eco-Festival, KCC is also a sustainability leader. The college has had two photovoltaic panels installed atop the Marine and Academic Center, which produce a maximum of 6 kilowatts of electricity (depending on the availability of sunlight) that feed directly into the building’s electrical system. The nautical light on the tower atop the round section of the MAC has served as an aid to navigation since 1990 and is registered with the U.S. Coast Guard.

KCC students enjoy breaks between classes at the Kingsbrew coffee shop near a 5,000-gallon shark tank on the first floor of the MAC. On the second floor there’s a digital lounge. Students also gather and network at a café in the College Center. Outside the building there’s a beach patio as well as benches scattered throughout the campus — perfect for relaxation or studying in warm weather. The ocean breeze is just a bonus.

Quick Facts About KCC

• Founded in 1963

• Serves about 18,000 credit and 15,000 continuing education students per year

• 50 degree and certified programs of study

• Accessible by F, N, Q, B, D, 2, 3, 4 and 5 subway lines with a transfer to B1 or B49 bus lines

• 142 national backgrounds and 73 languages; 60% female and 40% male

• 70% of KCC graduates go on to earn B.A. degrees

THE HOTSPOTS at KCC

College Center: The Hall of Flags, a reception area that displays the 142 flags representing the backgrounds of KCC students; beach café and beach patio

Marine and Academic Center: The digital lounge; Kingsbrew, a coffee shop; MAC Playhouse

Health and Physical Education Center: Two gymnasiums and a swimming pool

Robert J. Kibbie Library and the Media Center: Contains over 150,000 items

Arts and Sciences Center: 1,600-square-foot art gallery

Academic Village: Computer lab, a distance learning facility, child care, welcome center, international students center