Major Academic Initiative is Launched at Queensborough

AdvisorThe Queensborough Academies has been launched this fall for all full-time students, in all areas of study, for their entire academic career at Queensborough Community College—one of the few community colleges in the country offering such a program on this scale.

The initiative is built on Queensborough’s acclaimed Freshman Academies, which was launched in 2009 for all full-time, first-time freshmen to support better capability to complete their degree for the first year, up to thirty credits. The programs’ ambitious scale and positive impact on student success led to Queensborough’s designation in 2010 as an Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) “Roadmap” campus—one of 12 community colleges nationwide recognized for their work in supporting student achievement.

“Through a collaboration of Academic and Student Affairs, the Freshman Academies provided strong advisement and support services and was enriched by the passion and commitment of many faculty who engaged in High Impact Practices, nationally recognized as best practices in higher education,” said Dr. Diane B. Call, President of Queensborough Community College. “The initiative—assessed over the past four years—has yielded promising data on student retention, performance and recommendations from the faculty and staff who worked with them. The result was our decision to expand the Queensborough Academies beginning this semester to serve all full-time students, from admission to graduation.”

The Queensborough Academies matches every full-time student to an adviser based on their area of study in one of Queensborough’s five Academies: Business; Liberal Arts (including Education and Criminal Justice); Health Related Sciences; Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA); and Science, Technologies, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM).

President Call added, “This holistic approach to combine pedagogy with advisement promises to further inspire students to progress purposefully and realize tangible goals.”

“Students are expressing a sense of ease and appreciation knowing they have one adviser beyond the first year,” said Rebecca De Jesús, Advisor for the Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy, Criminal Justice program, and former Freshman Coordinator for the Freshman Academies.

To help facilitate communication and outreach about the Queensborough Academies, significant changes have been made to the College website to provide current and prospective students with access to information on curriculum, transfer agreements and potential careers.

Additionally, Starfish, intrusive software technology, will act as an early alert tool to help advisers intervene when students experience challenges in their studies. Queensborough received one of 19 national grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation toward implementing the system.