SOURCE: Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY

Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY

November 14, 2016 15:41 ET

BMCC/CUNY Expands Three Small-Cohort Programs

Each Program Improves Retention and Graduation Rates for Underrepresented Students

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - November 14, 2016) - Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) will use a growing pool of public and private funding to expand three successful programs that are centered on small, closely supported student cohorts. From the point of admission to graduation, each program's purpose is to create sustainable relationships between faculty, counselors and students. All three programs have built retention and increased graduation at BMCC.

The BMCC Learning Academy (BLA), which launched in 2012 with an initial cohort of 250 freshmen, now serves more than 800 students from the point of admission to graduation and transfer. Counselors provide students with academic advisement, career exploration, tutoring and other learning resources. While BMCC's one-year retention rate is 63.6 percent among the general student population, the BMCC Learning Academy retains 81 percent of its students in a one-year period. A new $2.6 million Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow the program to expand to 2,800 students annually by 2020.

The BMCC Accelerated Study in Associate Program (ASAP) is also expanding. On average, 53 percent of students enrolled in ASAP graduate within three years, compared to less than 25 percent of similar CUNY community college students. Nationally recognized and rigorously evaluated, ASAP's key components include full-time enrollment, block scheduled first-year courses, financial support, mandatory advisement, career services and tutoring.

Total City of New York funding in the amount of $77 million was allocated in fiscal years 2015 and 2016 to scale ASAP up to 25,000 students CUNY-wide. BMCC's ASAP program is expected to grow from 3,700 students in fiscal year 2017 to 5,500 students in fiscal year 2019. BMCC ASAP is expected to receive direct allocations and program resources that represent 22% of the overall ASAP budget to support projected enrollment, according to Donna Linderman, University Dean for Student Success Initiatives and ASAP Executive Director, CUNY.

Out in Two, a scholarship program unique to BMCC, continues to grow thanks to generous gifts including a 2015 $750,000 grant from Stephen J. Meringoff of the Meringoff Family Foundation and Jay Lieberman, Trustee of The Derfner Foundation. The program has also received a total of $365,000 -- over a five-year period -- from the New York Community Trust, as well as $50,000 in 2016 from BNY Mellon Foundation, and $45,000 over the past three years from the Southpole Foundation.

Founded by BMCC President Antonio Pérez, Out in Two provides tuition scholarships as well as individualized academic counseling, and requires that the scholars participate in community service. More than 90 percent of BMCC's Out in Two scholars graduate in two years and go on to four-year colleges, a much higher rate than the national average.

About BMCC

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) and enrolls over 27,000 degree-seeking and 11,000 continuing education students a year, awarding associate degrees in more than 40 fields. BMCC ranks #4 among community colleges nationwide in granting associate degrees to minority students, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. Visit:

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