the Lifespan of Learning
Highlighted here are several
early- and late-comers to CUNY classrooms featured this fall on
CUNY-TV and in posters displayed in city subways and buses.
Ashley Jovine is a thriving seven-year old who loves reading
in her Family College classroom on the historic Bronx Community
College campus. She is surrounded by rows of century-old oak and
maple trees and grand neo-classical halls topped with copper domes
and inspired by the ancient Roman Pantheon, the work of the great
architect Stanford White. Her mother, a student at BCC, likes
the convenience of having her daughter nearby, the enrichment
afforded by the serious-study environment, and such campus special
programming as Black History Month.
A short subway ride away, John Romo is planning, at the
age of 71, to earn a graduate degree at City College, where he
earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering
last June. Romo worked as a town planner and director of public
works in his native Chile before immigrating here in 1966 to work
as an architectural designer. A quarter-century later, having
shelved the notion of retirement, he sought the formal college
education that had always eluded him.
That thousands of students of vastly different ages like Ashley
Jovine and John Romo walk through CUNY portals is no surprise to
Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. More than ever, a college education
is a pre-requisite for success, and more than ever CUNY is the place
for a lifetime of learning, he says.
The Universitys offerings are innovative, comprehensive and
available in all five boroughs. Its Child Care Centers serve 2,500
young children of students at all 20 CUNY campuses. In cooperation
with the Board of Education, more than 300 students from pre-kindergarten
through second grade attend Family Colleges on the same community
college campuses where their parents pursue Associate degrees.
For the enterprising high school student, CUNYs College Now
offers enriched courses for college credit in nearly 200 schools
in all five boroughs. Fifteen public high schools
are affiliated with CUNY colleges, including three new special-entrance
schools that are opening this fall in Queens, Manhattan and the
Special programs are geared to older students, including Queens
Colleges Adult Collegiate Education (ACE) Program, open to
students over 25, and Kingsborough Community Colleges My
Turn for seniorseven those who do not have a high school
diploma. The CUNY BA is another popular program with older students
who are interested in studying at
multiple colleges or are interested in cross- disciplinary fields.
For the working student, eight colleges offer degrees that can be
earned entirely by weekend study. For senior citizens at CUNYs
six community colleges, study is tuition-free. At four-year colleges,
senior citizens may audit classes on a space-available basis for
$70 per semester. Each year more than 175,000 New Yorkers enroll
in Adult and Continuing Education programs offered by the University.
is 75 years old and a grandfather of ten. He
graduated from Lehman College in June with a Masters in Special
Education and plans to continue work in Speech, Language and Hearing,
with an eye to becoming a speech pathologist. Lakin has a particular
interest in the field because his son, now an accountant and a lawyer,
has suffered from Tourettes syndrome.
Lakin is also mulling the addition of a more recreational class
to his scheduletheater arts or perhaps Russian. As long
as you learn, you live, he says.
, who is 76, clearly is of the same
mind. A great grandmother, she earned an Associates in Liberal
Arts with honors in June from Kingsborough Community College just
to keep up: her children have their baccalaureate degrees and her
grandchildren hold Masters degrees. After retiring from the
telephone company in 1988 as a business representative, she decided
it was her turn and headed for KCCs My Turn program.
Constantinou enjoyed herself so much she volunteered to work in
its office, and she is now thinking about continuing her studies
at Brooklyn College.
When Violet Jolly, 76, graduated from Medgar Evers College
in June with a B.A. in Psychology, she was fulfilling a decades-old
promise to her father as she left her homeland of Barbados to
finish her education. After attaining her GED, Mrs. Jolly was
obliged to drop out from school to raise a family and work in
home care. Everyone else in her family completed their education.
Medgar Evers evening classes and a student body that reflected
her cultural background appealed to Jolly. All the while she was
enrolled, she continued working and taking care of grandchildren.
And then theres Pat Panzarino, whose march down a commencement
aisle last June must have set a record for delayed gratification.
Now 81, Panzarino started college 51 years after high school,
and he took 12 years to complete his College of Staten Island
B.A. in anthropology. I gave myself plenty of time and did
a lot of research, he explains. He had been spurred on by
his familys college history: Panzarinos late wife
graduated from Hunter College and all four of their children earned
A Navy radioman in World War II, Panzarino worked for 40 years
as a technical supervisor for RCA Global Communications. A member
of the ground support team on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space
programs, his mementos include a medallion he was awarded made
from metal on the spacecrafts Columbia, which orbited the moon,
and the Eagle, which landed on it.
Panzarinos not done yet. Hell continue taking art
and music classes. And he wants to pursue a masters degree
in anthropology. Goals are important in life, he said.
At any age.
This is doubtless the lesson that is being instilled in every
one of CUNYs Child Care Centers. Timothy Yoo, going
on six, has also learned that a good sense of humor helps make
friends with other children at Queens College, where his mother
is a student. And Luka Levi, a three-and-a-half year old
whose parents speak Serbo-Croatian at home, has learned English
this year in the Child Care Center at Hunter College. His mother
is a graduate chemistry student.
In 2070 or thereabouts, Yoo and Levi will, one hopes, be able
to look back on their CUNY years and echo Arnold Lakin: As
long as you learn, you live.