Queensborough Receives National Recognition For its Program to Steer High School Students Toward a College Education

Queensborough Community College (QCC) has been selected for participation in a prestigious research study on 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) programs, to be conducted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Queensborough is one of only fifteen 21st Century Community Learning Center programs across the country that was chosen for the study.

QCC’s program, “Community Campus,” offers both high school and college credits to students who enroll in introductory courses such as laser and fiber optics, astronomy, English, architectural drafting and design, mathematics and theatre. Queensborough also offers enrichment courses such as “Repurpose,” an advanced enrichment course in which students design and build objects that serve practical functions from repurposed materials. The students attend lectures, work in labs, document their experiences, and then present their projects in class – and recently at an Apple Store in Manhattan. In addition, the center serves middle school students on campus during a seven-week, full-time summer enrichment program.

As part of the research study, CCLC visited QCC for two days in October, interviewing instructors, students, staff and principals, while observing classes and activities.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center program is a federally funded grant, administered through the New York State Education Department and awarded to Queensborough in 2010. The program serves students from Jamaica High School in Jamaica, Queens and the Campus Magnet Educational Complex, located in Cambria Heights, New York as well as from several New York City Department of Education middle schools.

“This generous grant has allowed us to intervene at a critical developmental stage for struggling middle and high school students and helps to instill in all the participants a positive attitude toward attending college,” said Denise Ward, Dean, Continuing Education and Workforce Development and Project Investigator on the grant. She added, “Being immersed in the college community and mastering college level work is a great motivator. The students gain tremendous self-confidence. Through our program, QCC has successfully narrowed the performance gaps between minority and Caucasian students in the middle/high schools.”

The research study, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), will publish four “Lessons Learned Guides” in the fall of 2013, highlighting the role of Queensborough and additional selected centers as models for other 21st CCLC programs nationwide.

To learn more about participating in the “Community Campus” program, contact Darlene O’Rourke, Project Director, 21st CCLC grant, Continuing Education, at 718-281-5574, or dorourke@qcc.cuny.edu

Queensborough Community College, established in 1960, is located on a lush 37-acre campus in Bayside, New York. The College offers a rich liberal arts and science curriculum as well as career and pre-professional courses. Comprising one of the most diverse populations of any college in the U.S., nearly 16,000 students pursue Associate degrees or Certificate programs and another 10,000 students of all ages attend continuing education programs. The College boasts Dual/Joint Degree programs in Nursing, Biotechnology, Criminal Justice, Forensic Technology and Education with its sister CUNY institutions— Hunter College, York College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Queens College, respectively.

Over half of the faculty holds doctorates, compared with 21% of faculty in other community colleges nationwide.

In the fall of 2009, Queensborough launched the Freshman Academies for all first-time full-time students. While other colleges have similar programs, Queensborough is the only community college to launch the initiative institution-wide.

Queensborough has the distinction of being awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant in the amount of $500,000 and was recently named one of 12 colleges nationwide to lead the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) project—funded by Met Life—to support and expand effective student success strategies at community colleges. The College’s prized cultural beacons, The Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives; QCC Art Gallery; and Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC) continue to bring renowned world-class exhibits, fine art and performances to the entire community and beyond.