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CUNY BMI works in six strategic areas to reach its overall goals of increasing enrollment of students from demographic groups severely underrepresented in higher education and providing academic and cultural supports to assist program participants in successfully completing their undergraduate course of study and graduating.

6 Pillars

Diversity Recruitment involves strategies that will increase the enrollment of underrepresented students, particularly men in your BMI project. CUNY BMI projects recruit prospective CUNY students by using a wide range of methods such as letters, emails, student workshops, teacher recommendations, and basic word of mouth. All of which has resulted in the successful recruitment of students.

Culturally Competent Peer to Peer Mentoring includes a peer to peer mentoring model where high performing upper classmen are trained to be peer mentors to assist lower classmen, however there is an acknowledgment of cultural differences such as race/ethnicity, gender, ability, class, and sexuality and an understanding of these differences. Mentors will undergo training that will introduce them to the multiple dimensions of the role of a mentor within the mentoring context and the areas that fall outside that role.  Mentors will gain an understanding of relationship building, including effective communication techniques, and the match life cycle for a mentor and his/her mentee to help them understand what to expect in their match relationship. Additionally, mentors will receive training to assist in cultivating awareness of the many levels of diversity that exist between their mentees and themselves, and to explore how those levels of diversity affect the mentor/mentee match. The training will also provide the opportunity for volunteers to explore their own assumptions and stereotypes and have a forum to express their feelings on diversity of values and cultural backgrounds, as well as cross-cultural matching.

Mentor Criteria:

  • A BMI student the year prior to serving as a mentor
  • 2.9 GPA or above
  • A willingness to serve
  • Must attend mentor training

Academic Enhancements provides an additional layer of academic support through tutoring and supplemental academic programs (ie. blocked classes, learning communities, peer led tutoring, group tutoring, and study groups) that provides direct accountability to all of the students who participate in the project.  Additionally, academic enhancements can contribute to a sense of inclusion to the institution for underrepresented students in the form of: conferences, distinguished speaker series, workshops, talk sessions, and lending libraries. Students who perceive that they shared common interests and academic abilities with other students and faculty are more likely to feel a sense of integration with the college environment which has the likelihood of increasing persistence and graduation.

Institutional Commitment involves developing relationships with senior leaders within the institution to secure space and financial supplemental support for the BMI project.

Advisory Committee meetings involve convening meeting with project advisors on a regular basis at minimum once per semester. Advisory committee members can be comprised of internal (administration, faculty, and staff) and external partners who committed to making the BMI project successful, and provide accountability and resources for all expected outcomes listed by the CUNY BMI Central.

Socioemotional Programming are activities that acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (ie. barbershop sessions, chat and chews, and student development workshops on civility/anti-hazing, Title IX/sexual assault prevention, undoing racism).