One of the best predictors of college success is entering prepared for college-level studies. CUNY will work with its partners to help ensure that a larger number of entering students are prepared, starting with early education and assisting them up to and through high school.

CUNY will deepen its work with the Department of Education to improve successful student transition from high school to college.

  • We will expand the pipeline of highly qualified students entering CUNY by increasing opportunities for high school students to take college credit courses and to participate in research programs, internships and summer bridge programs.
  • We will promote diversity by implementing new admissions processes to allow a more holistic review of high school student performance.
  • We will create opportunities for all NYC middle school students to visit CUNY campuses and gain first-hand knowledge of college expectations and options.
  • We will work with the Department of Education to improve academic preparation for college by expanding programs that prepare 12th grade students to meet CUNY’s math and English standards.
  • Will launch the CUNY Tutor Corps to place CUNY students as tutors and mentors in science, technology and math courses in DOE high schools.
  • We will expand the number of students who successfully transition from DOE career-focused high schools to relevant CUNY degree programs by establishing partnerships among schools, colleges and employers in high growth industries, such as health care and information technology.
  • We will implement innovative strategies to address the needs of populations traditionally underserved by higher education, such as New York’s foster youth.

CUNY will reform underperforming remediation programs with evidence-based approaches and national best practices.

  • We will adopt national best practices for determining when students are adequately prepared to take college courses and improving the quality and efficiency of remedial instruction. We will better align remedial coursework with intended academic and career interests, and offer rigorous alternative routes to mathematics proficiency.

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One of the greatest academic obstacles to graduation at community colleges across the country is traditional remedial programs. Too many students are being placed in remedial classes, particularly in math, and the success rate is unacceptably low. After a year of research and planning, CUNY is implementing a comprehensive remedial education reform, based on the most up to date evidence-based practices, that will impact: 1) the placement of students in these developmental classes; 2) the instruction methods and student support; 3) and improving the percentage of students who successfully exit remediation and move into credit-bearing courses. This will have a major impact, particularly on minority students, who have been disproportionately affected by this educational bottleneck.

Each fall, approximately 20,000 students—over half of all CUNY freshmen– are assigned to developmental education in at least one subject, usually mathematics. In associate degree programs, 74 percent of freshmen were assigned to developmental education in math in fall 2015, 23 percent in reading, and 33 percent in writing. But CUNY’s one-size-fits-all approach to preparing students has not worked. In fall 2015, just 38% of the 14,215 students in remedial algebra successfully completed it.

Implementing these reforms, the number of students placed in remediation will decline by at least 15 percent. The number of students determined to be proficient after one year of remediation will increase by at least 5 percentage points in year one and will increase as we move to scale.

Under the reforms, 20,000 students per semester will receive tutoring and supplemental instruction and 4,000 will be enrolled in courses with faculty who have been newly trained. Another one thousand students will enroll in immersion programs or new developmental workshops. All students will have access to instructional software.

CUNY will bring to scale two developmental options of proven efficacy: 1) co-requisite courses—credit-bearing courses with additional mandatory supports in the form of workshops or tutoring, and 2) alternatives to math proficiency other than algebra for students pursuing majors or courses of study that do not require algebra. College algebra is necessary for many but not all majors.

We will also end the practice of requiring all students to pass common tests in algebra, writing and reading to exit developmental education. Grades, it has been found, are a better predictor of proficiency and success. CUNY will continue the use of standardized common final exams that count for 35 percent of the final course grade.

  • We will expand proven accelerated models of developmental education, including CUNY Start and Math Start, as well as successful models developed at individual colleges.
  • Our colleges will expand their work as incubators of effective new approaches and programs for teaching remedial subjects and supporting student momentum toward graduation.

CUNY, which produces nearly a third of the city’s teachers, will strengthen teacher education and diversify the teaching force to better prepare high school graduates.

  • We will strengthen a diverse teacher preparation pipeline through improved and streamlined transfer between community and senior college education programs, and focused recruitment.
  • We will increase opportunities for high-quality clinical experiences for pre-service candidates to observe high-quality teaching in the field, learn from experienced and engaged teachers, demonstrate their own pedagogy and content knowledge, and incorporate feedback through collaboration with the NYC DOE and other partners.
  • We will improve alignment between teacher candidate supply and areas of high demand, especially in fields such as computer science and special and bilingual education.
  • We will support programs and research opportunities to increase faculty collaboration with the Department of Education to ensure properly focused skills development.

CUNY will be a leader in early childhood learning, integrating research, policy, and practice to lift educational success of children, birth to 8 years.

  • With the leadership of CUNY’s Early Childhood Professional Development Institute and college faculty, we will strengthen interdisciplinary studies and practical strategies for enhancing the quality of early childhood education, Pre-K instruction and services, when foundation for learning is built.

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It is never too early to change the trajectory of a child’s life. CUNY will become a leader in early childhood, building a comprehensive initiative that integrates research, policy, and practice. Our aim is to ensure that innovative evidence-based approaches are used to help shape society’s focus on its youngest children, from birth to 8 years, and their health, mental health, family engagement, and early learning.

Building on the Governor’s leadership on this issue and the distinguished work of the CUNY Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, and recommendations from the CUNY Early Childhood Working Group, our initiative will build a comprehensive agenda.

First Steps will include the following:

Building a pipeline of the next generation of New York’s early childhood teaching workforce.

Expanding high quality, clinically rich academic programs at all levels (2-year, 4-year, and graduate) that prepare the next generation of early childhood workforce.

Establishing a state-wide early childhood research network that will identify and distribute resources to encourage interdisciplinary studies.

Engaging in partnerships with public agencies, private non-profit agencies, schools, health and mental health facilities to bridge higher education and public and private service delivery systems.

  • CUNY will prepare the next generation of early childhood workforce at the program and policy levels by expanding clinical and academic programs.
  • We will develop new degree and certificate programs, including an early childhood track in the Urban Education doctoral program, to support the needs of young children. We will develop new degree and certificate programs to train specialists in areas such as Early Intervention, Maternal and Infant Health and Early Childhood Leadership.