New Talent and Programs

New Talent and Programs, Record Enrollment Mark 2007-08

Innovative new degree programs have been rolled out. An infusion of new faculty talent is on board. Student enrollment is surging to record levels. The City University of New York is reaching upward and outward in 2007-08, both raising academic standards and expanding educational opportunities to increasing numbers of diverse New Yorkers.

The University has hired more than 800 new fulltime faculty members -- highly accomplished and renowned academic minds, and newly minted Ph.D.s with promise. Vibrant new degree-granting programs are on tap for 2007 and 2008, including master's degrees in Forensic Computing at John Jay College, in Real Estate at Baruch College, and in Middle Eastern Studies at the Graduate Center. At the same time, CUNY continues to explore new ways to serve the city's burgeoning educational needs.

Student enrollment at the City University of New York climbed to its highest level in more than three decades this fall, to 231,602, a 19% increase from 194,994 in 1999 and up 2.5% over last year. Undergraduate enrollment increased 3.1% at both the senior colleges and community colleges from last year and first-time freshman enrollment is up 4.3%, breaking down to a 3.4% rise at the senior colleges and 5.6% at the community colleges. CUNY also serves 230,000 adult, continuing and professional education students citywide.

Black and Latino enrollment increased 14.6% from 1999 to 2006, from 96,699 to 110,839, making CUNY the nation's largest and most diverse urban public university. The senior colleges saw 16% growth in the number of black first-time freshmen and 43% in Hispanic first-time freshmen during the seven year period. At the community colleges, both groups saw first-time freshman enrollment leaps of more than 27%.

The new enrollment and hiring figures from throughout the City University system portray an institution focused on expanding its reputation and reach. "We are pumping ... dollars into one of our highest priorities, which is fulltime faculty," Chancellor Matthew Goldstein told CUNY's Board of Trustees at their Sept. 24 meeting. "I've never seen numbers of this magnitude," he said of the number of new hires, which boost the University's fulltime teaching force by 322 after attrition.

Far from shutting out students, the City University's drive to raise standards and tighten admissions requirements has gone hand in hand with continuing, steady enrollment increases among all racial groups on both the senior college and community college levels, the figures show.

From the senior colleges to the community colleges to CUNY's free, college preparatory programs like College Now, where public high school students are snapping up seats in record numbers — the enrollment numbers are proof that the University "has succeeded in raising standards while continuing to reflect the rich diversity that is a unique characteristic and a great strength of the city we serve," said Chancellor Goldstein.

At the Board of Trustees meeting, Chairman Benno Schmidt extolled Goldstein for his administration's accomplishments, from the steadily rising enrollment and continuing diversity of the student body, to the University's burst of fulltime faculty hiring for 2007-08, and doing all of that "in a time of budget stringency and lack of strong budget support."

"It is necessary to say that there is not a public university system in the country that has a record of movement that is even close to as impressive as the movement of the City University of New York," said Chairman Schmidt, thanking Goldstein for "an unequalled record of progress over these eight years."

(Listen to the entire Board meeting at www.cuny.edu/podcasts).

Indications are that the positive trends will continue. Enrollment is on an upward swing in outreach programs such as College Now, a joint CUNY-city Department of Education program that offers students at more than 300 public high schools free, college-credit courses on CUNY campuses and provides high-school credit remediation to help prospective students meet CUNY standards. College Now has 28,714 students enrolled citywide for 2007, a 420% increase from the 5,520 participating in 1999.

The African-American and Hispanic presence in College Now has also gone up significantly since 1999. In 2007, 3,507 black and 2,840 Latino students were enrolled in the program's college-level science, math, social studies, engineering, humanities, business, communications and computer science courses. In the non-college courses, which hone skills necessary for making the transition to college or to richer adult lives, there were also significant increases in black and Hispanic enrollment.

"College Now helps students meet high school graduation requirements and ensures that graduates are better prepared to do college-level work," said Chancellor Goldstein. "Research has shown that students who participate in College Now tend to do better academically than their counterparts once they enter college." He added that the state Commission on Higher Education is looking at CUNY's program as potentially "a good model statewide."

Goldstein also pointed to "an impressive increase in enrollment" in the University's language immersion program. For $12 a week, intensive, 25-hour-per-week, English immersion classes are offered to qualified immigrant CUNY students who want to improve their reading and writing skills. Eligible students with a high school diploma can enroll at a CUNY college and work on improving their skills for up to one year in preparation for college-level work.

The City University continues to explore innovative ways S such as the recently opened CUNY XPRESS, a street- level service center in the heart of an immigrant community in Upper Manhattan — to reach prospective students seeking new educational and career opportunities. This fall marked the opening of the new Upper West Side home of the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, which has attracted some of the best and brightest students from across the five boroughs and beyond.

Earlier this summer, the state Education Department approved CUNY's second online degree offering — a fully Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Business, which is accepting students now for January, 2008 classes. This innovative program is available for former students who left college in good standing without a bachelor's degree, often because of work or parenting responsibilities. Now a return to college is available through this fully online program offered through the University's School of Professional Studies, based at CUNY's Graduate School and University Center.

Course-wise, the University's extensive offerings have been expanded even more for 2007 and 2008. The new curricula include:

Forensic Computing, the M.S. program offered by John Jay College that is the first in the nation to merge criminal justice and computer science studies. Students will be trained to solve crimes such as cyber-terrorism and Internet child pornography and will be qualified to conduct investigations of security-breaching electronic crimes.

The Public Health Ph.D. program at The Graduate Center, which focuses on urban health issues and is part of CUNY's overall expansion of health-related courses to meet growing demand.

Dietetics and Nutrition Science, A.S., Bronx Community College. Students completing this new program are automatically accepted into Lehman College's B.S. degree program in Dietetics, Foods and Nutrition.

Real Estate M.S., Baruch College. Starting in fall 2008, this 30-credit curriculum — designed for prospective and current real estate professionals and those with substantial real estate portfolios — will provide an intensive look at the real estate industry. The master's program joins Baruch's already large roster of real-estate-related degree-granting programs.

CUNY Online Baccalaureate, B.S., Business, School of Professional Studies. Now taking applications for the spring 2008 semester, this core business curriculum is designed for independent, computer-savvy students looking for a flexible way to earn a high-quality bachelor's degree while balancing family and career needs.

Creative Writing, M.F.A., Queens College. Under the direction of award-winning poet Nicole Cooley, this program will allow students to earn degrees in specialized areas of writing such as poetry, fiction or literary translation.

Educational Leadership, M.S. Ed., Lehman College. Designed to prepare students for careers as leaders of schools and school districts in urban schools with diverse populations.

Other new degree programs include Religious Studies, B.A., Medgar Evers College; Applied Mathematics, B.S., New York City College of Technology and Mental Health Counseling, M.A., City College.

"As more students continue to choose to attend CUNY colleges, they will benefit greatly from these new opportunities and become fully prepared to compete effectively in the workforce and global marketplace," Goldstein said.