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CUNY: A LEGACY OF DIVERSITY

AND OPPORTUNITY
A REPORT TO GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO ABOUT HOW CUNY IS
FURTHERING NEW YORK’S GOALS OF EXPANDING DIVERSITY AND
INCLUSION ON ALL ITS CAMPUSES.

SUBMITTED BY:

WILLIAM C. THOMPSON, JR.


CHAIRPERSON

VITA C. RABINOWITZ
INTERIM CHANCELLOR
Executive Summary
Throughout its 171-year history, the City University of New York has been a national exemplar of the ideal of
education and opportunity for all. Today, as the country’s largest urban public university,
CUNY's commitment to campuses that are inclusive and diverse has never been more central to its mission.
In recent years, the University's promise, carried out by a range of strategies and initiatives, has been at the
forefront of a national movement toward policies that recognize race, socioeconomic background and other
identity factors in admissions criteria.

These aspirations of equality were supported by a series of guidelines issued in 2011 and 2016 by the federal
Education and Justice Departments. These guidelines encouraged colleges to embrace diversity and provided
guidance in pursuing these goals within the bounds of recent Supreme Court decisions. On July 3, 2018,
however, these guidelines were rescinded by the current administration. The administration urged universities
to reject strategies of fostering diversity that include race-conscious admissions methods.

In response to the administration’s directive, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared that the federal action should
have no bearing on the admissions policies of New York’s public universities, “and should not interfere with
SUNY's and CUNY's commitment to a diverse and inclusive student body.” The governor directed the two
university systems to examine their current and planned diversity initiatives. This report outlines how CUNY
is furthering New York’s goals of expanding diversity and inclusion on all its campuses.

CUNY draws inspiration from its long history of expanding access to education for New Yorkers of all
backgrounds and lifting many generations to the middle class. The University’s commitment to these
aspirations is demonstrated by its stature as perhaps the most racially and ethnically diverse university in the
world. To wit:

• In fall 2017, CUNY undergraduates were 32 percent Hispanic, 26 percent Black, 21 percent Asian
and 21 percent White; and 57 percent female and 43 percent male. The student body at CUNY
closely reflects the racial makeup of the graduating class of New York City public high schools,
which accounted for 78 percent of CUNY’s most recent freshman class.

• Thirty-five percent of CUNY undergraduates were born outside the U.S. mainland, a share that is
similar to the percentage of all New York City residents who are immigrants.

• Nearly 40 percent of CUNY students speak a native language other than English. Altogether, CUNY
students speak 174 languages other than English.

• More than 200 ancestries are represented among CUNY’s current students. The top countries of
ancestry include the Dominican Republic, China, Jamaica, Mexico, Bangladesh, Guyana, Ecuador,
Haiti, and Colombia.

• CUNY is particularly proud of its history of educating students of the working class. Currently 62
percent of students receive Pell grants, and 42 percent are from households with less than $20,000 in
annual income.

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CUNY’s diversity efforts begin even before the application process. Through a program called College Now,
for example, CUNY colleges partner with 420 city high schools to help prepare students for graduation and
advancement to college. In addition, CUNY has increased support for students who are undocumented
immigrants through a program, called Dream Scholars, that ranges from scholarships to support services.

These are among numerous programs that pay particular attention to students who need help. Another key
support program is CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), which provides community
college students with financial, academic and personal support that has proven to help remove obstacles to
earning associate degrees. ASAP serves a population that is 75 percent black and Hispanic. It has a three-year
graduation rate of 53 percent, more than twice the rate of students who are not in the program. CUNY is
working to increase the number of ASAP participants, as it has significant potential to increase the diversity
of bachelor’s graduates.

CUNY’s commitment to diversity extends to every aspect of the University and to all academic levels. Its
graduate student body is much more diverse than the national average, and many of CUNY’s graduate and
professional schools have adopted diversity and cultural sensitivity as part of their missions.

CUNY is committed to employing faculty who reflect the diversity of their students. A number of initiatives
are helping improve CUNY’s efforts to recruit and retain faculty of diverse backgrounds. Between 2013 and
2017, the percentage of new full-time faculty who are members of federally protected minority groups rose
from 30 percent to 44 percent.

This report details the many programs and approaches that CUNY has adopted in recent years to not only
expand the diversity of its student body but to ensure that we are giving our students every opportunity to
succeed.

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CUNY: A Legacy of Diversity and Opportunity

Introduction
Since the founding of City College as the Free Academy in 1847 with the mission to “educate the whole
people,” The City University of New York (CUNY) has been responsible for transforming the lives of
millions. Throughout its history, CUNY and its colleges have been nearly synonymous with broad
educational access and opportunity for the city’s working-class and immigrant populations from all ethnic and
racial groups and both genders. CUNY’s commitment to diversity is enshrined in the University’s mission
statement, as embodied in state education law, Article 125, Section 6201:

“The Legislature’s intent is that The City University be supported as an independent and integrated system of
higher education on the assumption that the University will continue to maintain and expand its commitment
to academic excellence and to the provision of equal access and opportunity for students, faculty and staff
from all ethnic and racial groups and from both sexes. The City University is of vital importance as a vehicle
for the upward mobility of the disadvantaged in the City of New York. The pioneering efforts of the SEEK
and College Discovery programs must not be diminished as a result of greater state financial responsibility.

“Only the strongest commitment to the special needs of an urban constituency justifies the Legislature’s
support of an independent and unique structure for the University. Activities at the City University campuses
must be undertaken in a spirit which recognizes and responds to the imperative need for affirmative action
and the positive desire to have City University personnel reflect the diverse communities which comprise the
people of the city and state of New York. …”

CUNY prides itself on reflecting the extraordinary diversity of the city it serves. Today, its deep-seated
commitments to access, diversity, inclusion, and equity are reflected throughout the University in student
enrollments, the many programs the University and its colleges run to recruit and support diverse
populations, its approach to faculty hiring, its scholarly work, and the extensive services that CUNY offers to
its community.

The following report was prepared in response to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s directions in an open letter to
CUNY’s and SUNY’s Boards of Trustees to continue implementing existing diversity and inclusion plans and
examine those plans to ensure they are furthering New York’s goals of diversity and inclusion. This report
provides an overview of the diversity at CUNY, along with descriptions of the most prominent University
programs designed to advance diversity and equity, and the plans for strengthening these efforts in the
coming years.

Undergraduate Diversity: Current Enrollments

CUNY is arguably the most racially and ethnically diverse university system in the country – if not the world.
It is the only university system in the country in which Asian, Black, Hispanic, and White students each
constitute at least 20 percent of the student body. Across CUNY’s 12 senior colleges the undergraduate
population is remarkably racially balanced: 24 percent Asian, 24 percent Black, 27 percent Hispanic, and 25
percent White.1 (Enrollment tables by college are available in the appendix.) Overall, CUNY educates 73

1
See http://www.cuny.edu/irdatabook/rpts2_AY_current/ENRL_0016_RACE_UGGR_PCT.rpt.pdf

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percent of all Hispanic undergraduates in New York City, 70 percent of Black students, 69 percent of Asian
students, and 42 percent of White students.2

CUNY’s role in providing access to students of color can be documented by comparing its racial composition
to that of New York City and of the students graduating from the city’s public high schools. CUNY enrolls a
higher percentage of Black, Hispanic, and Asian undergraduates and a lower percentage of White
undergraduates than the percentages of these groups among city residents. According to the 2010 census, 33
percent of New York City residents were White, 26 percent were Hispanic, 26 percent were Black, and 13
percent were Asian.3 In comparison, fall 2017 CUNY undergraduates were 21 percent White, 32 percent
Hispanic, 26 percent Black, and 21 percent Asian. Overall, the student body at CUNY closely reflects the
racial makeup of the graduating class of New York City public high schools, which is to be expected as the
New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) graduates constitute 78 percent of CUNY’s most
recent freshman class.

Racial/Ethnic Composition New York City residents, public


high school graduates, and CUNY undergraduates
40
34 33
35 32
30 27
26 26 26
25 22 21 21
20
16
15 13

10

0
Asian Black Hispanic White

NYC DOE Graduates CUNY Undergraduates

New York City numbers are based on analysis of the 2010 census. CUNY enrollments are from fall 2016 and DOE
graduates are from school year 2015-16.

It is important to look at enrollment across the CUNY system and at all undergraduates, not just incoming
freshmen, because there is a large volume of transfers every year between CUNY’s different campuses. In
fact, CUNY’s bachelor’s programs admit twice as many transfer students as freshmen every academic year,
and the majority of students who earn bachelor’s degrees from each CUNY senior college entered the college
as transfer students, rather than as first-time freshmen. Black and Hispanic students generally make up greater
shares of the transfer students entering bachelor’s programs than freshmen. In academic year 2016-17, 56
percent of transfers into CUNY’s bachelor’s programs were Black or Hispanic, compared to 41 percent of
entering freshmen. Because transfer is such a common phenomenon at CUNY and a critical route to access
to bachelor’s degrees, CUNY is working on multiple fronts to improve the transfer process. In 2017, it

2
CUNY analysis of IPEDS data.
3https://furmancenter.org/files/sotc/The_Changing_Racial_and_Ethnic_Makeup_of_New_York_City_Neighborhood

s_11.pdf

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convened several geographically based affinity groups of senior and community colleges to work through
practical barriers in the transfer process. It is also working to improve data-sharing across colleges, and this
summer launched a new federally funded multiyear research project to investigate why large numbers of
students who start in community colleges, with an interest in an eventual bachelor’s degree, fail to complete
those degrees.

CUNY’s student body is richly diverse in a multitude of ways. At last count, 211 ancestries were represented
among CUNY’s current students. The top sources of ancestry include the Dominican Republic, China,
Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bangladesh, Guyana, Ecuador, Haiti, and Colombia. Thirty-five percent of
CUNY undergraduates were actually born outside the U.S. mainland (a share that is similar to the percentage
of all New York City resident who are immigrants). Nearly 40 percent of CUNY students speak a native
language other than English – over 174 languages all together. CUNY undergraduates are 57 percent female
and 43 percent male. According to the new CUNY LGBTQI Leadership Program, an estimated 8,000 CUNY
undergraduates have self-identified as members of the LGBTQI community, and both the CUNY Central
Office and each campus have developed resources to support them.

CUNY students range in age and life experience, with many coming to college immediately following high
school graduation and thousands of others returning to college after years spent working, raising children, or
serving in the military. (In fall 2017, 26 percent of undergraduates were over the age of 25. Around 3,000
were military veterans.) They also represent a great variety of family backgrounds. Forty-five percent of
CUNY graduates are in the first generation of their families to attend college, while others are in the third or
fourth generation of their families to attend a CUNY school. CUNY is particularly proud of its history of
educating students of the working class, and currently 62 percent of students receive Pell grants, and 42
percent are from households with less than $20,000 in annual income. At the same time, CUNY also provides
a high-quality education for thousands of students from families that earn more than $100,000 per year.
Students also represent a rich diversity of religious backgrounds, which influences their outlook on social
issues as well as geopolitical conflicts. In the coming years, CUNY will invest special efforts into supporting
students to engage with their faith traditions while also promoting an acceptance of other worldviews.

CUNY also enrolls more than 10,000 students with disabilities, or 16 percent of all New York State
postsecondary students with disabilities. Because of CUNY's strong relationship with the New York City
Department of Education's Special Education programs and CUNY’s outstanding access and opportunity-
promoting programs, the University is a first-choice destination for New Yorkers with disabilities seeking a
college education.

CUNY’s Initiatives to Expand Access for Students from All Backgrounds and Neighborhoods

Maintaining and growing this diverse student population is an essential component of CUNY’s ability to
ensure that New York has a workforce that will meet the complex and evolving needs of the city and state.
Over the next four years and beyond, the University will intensify efforts to recruit undergraduate and
graduate students from all backgrounds and all parts of the city. Central to providing opportunity to the
widest possible range of students is the provision of financial aid. In addition to federal Pell Grants and the
state’s Tuition Assistance Program, Governor Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship initiative has served to make
CUNY affordable to even more students and helped boost enrollment. Factoring in both state and federal
aid, 65 percent of full-time CUNY undergraduates attend tuition-free. Only 11 percent pay full tuition.

The CUNY Central Office of Enrollment Strategy & Management (OESM) oversees the development and
implementation of University-wide enrollment initiatives. OESM works closely with CUNY’s campuses and
also regularly engages in activities to promote college-going on behalf of the whole system. OESM is staffed
with recruiters who regularly visit every New York City public high school to expose students to CUNY’s

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academic program offerings, assist in career preparation, and provide information about personal
development opportunities at CUNY colleges, such as student clubs, special interests groups, and athletics.

OESM also manages outreach to prospective students through the CUNY Welcome Center (CWC), which
has a storefront location in midtown Manhattan. The Welcome Center provides drop-in services for
prospective students that include college counseling, assistance completing the freshman or transfer
application for admission, information about campuses and programs, and assistance with financial-aid forms
and other paperwork. Staff from the Welcome Center communicate frequently with high school counselors,
and work extensively with numerous community-based organizations that help underserved students and
neighborhoods across the city.

OESM actively partners with the NYCDOE to address college preparation and to strengthen college
readiness for the city’s public school population. College counselors are invited to breakfasts hosted by
CUNY’s Welcome Center to learn about the newest programs across the University. The breakfasts include
workshops that address targeted populations, including special opportunity programs such as the Percy Ellis
Sutton Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) and College Discovery Programs.

The current priority of the OESM is the successful introduction of CUNY’s new admission system in 2018,
which supports a more holistic review of student applications than was possible under the long-standing
previous admission system. For example, beyond the required high school transcripts and test scores,
undergraduate applicants will be able to provide colleges with personal statements, portfolios, and letters of
recommendation. The University expects that the more holistic admissions system will be a valuable tool in
admitting even more-diverse classes into its most selective bachelor’s programs.

Dream Scholars
Across the University CUNY has also increased support for undocumented immigrant students in recent
years. Through a partnership with TheDream.US, undocumented first-time freshmen and undocumented
students who have stopped pursuing their college degrees because of finances are eligible to apply to become
Dream Scholars. Dream Scholars are eligible for a full-tuition scholarship, a stipend for books and
transportation, scholarships for summer enrollment, grants for study abroad, and targeted advisement and
support. So far, over 720 CUNY students have received TheDream.US scholarships and over 900 recipients
are expected to be enrolled in 2018-19. These scholarship recipients have very good academic records at
CUNY, with an average retention rate of over 90 percent and around 70 percent maintaining a cumulative
GPA of 3.0 or higher. Once enrolled, the CUNY DREAMers program provides a safe space for
undocumented students and their allies to support one another. DREAMers attend workshops and events
that help them to process their experiences, tell their stories, and think about their futures. Crucially, the
program also trains and supports non-DREAMers who want to show support for their fellow students living
under difficult immigration conditions.

Enrollment Support for Veterans


The CUNY Office of Veterans Affairs works with veterans’ affairs offices on each campus and serves as an
information hub for prospective and enrolled student veterans. The office also strives to foster a sense of
community among the veterans enrolled across CUNY campuses. In the last decade, veterans’ enrollment has
increased by almost 250 percent, from just over 800 to more than 3,000.

Each CUNY college has a veterans coordinator who assists with navigating the special steps veterans often
need to take to manage their college enrollment, such as accessing application waivers, securing veterans
education benefits and other financial aid, and requesting evaluation of transfer credits, including credit for
military training and experience. The Project for Return and Opportunity for Veterans Education
(PROVE), managed by the CUNY School of Social Work, further facilitates transition and adjustment to
civilian/college life. This innovative service model, in which a team of graduate social work interns and social
work field instructors operate in concert with campus personnel to develop and enhance services for student

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veterans, is active on seven CUNY campuses. In 2018, the College of Staten Island was ranked No. 1 and
City College was rated No. 6 among the most military friendly, large public colleges in the United States, York
College ranked No. 5 among small public colleges, and Hostos ranked No. 2 among small public community
colleges.4

Illustrative College Recruitment and Support Plans


Beyond the centralized efforts of CUNY’S OESM, each CUNY college has developed its own efforts to
expand access and recruit a diverse student body, which is tailored to its specific location, history, and
academic offerings. The examples below highlight some of the ways in which colleges are working with their
local communities. (Please see the appendix for brief descriptions of notable outreach efforts at each
campus.)

Baruch College, CUNY’s most selective undergraduate college, has an ongoing in-depth relationship with the
Expanded Success Initiative (ESI), which brings young men of color, along with their teachers and
guidance counselors, to campus on a regular basis for meetings and special events. Last year, Baruch hosted
its first-ever College Readiness Workshop, with a financial-aid session conducted in English and Spanish.
Baruch’s SEEK students also led “barbershop” talks with the ESI Advisory Group about opportunities and
challenges in accessing higher education. Baruch also hosts more than 200 Black and Hispanic applicants
from 15 targeted public high schools for a half-day program each year, which includes an application
workshop and an application fee waiver.

In 2012, City College established a recruitment initiative that focuses on its neighborhood schools, specifically
high schools in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx that serve a predominantly Hispanic and Black student
population. City College recruitment staff have developed close relationships with staff, teachers, and
students from those schools and invite them to participate in campus tours dedicated to neighborhood
schools. City College staff also visit the schools for recruitment events.

At Lehman College, the Urban Male Leadership Program and the College Readiness, Achievements &
Retention (CREAR) Futuros Program work together to increase the number of Black and Hispanic college
applicants who enroll at Lehman. Urban Male Leadership and CREAR students, under the supervision of
college staff, make school visits, conduct campus tours, and hold prospective student receptions, followed by
telephone outreach. Students who enroll following these outreach efforts are supported via targeted peer
mentoring and academic workshops.

In fall 2017, the College of Staten Island (CSI), launched its newest location, CSI St. George, on Staten
Island’s North Shore, the most diverse part of the island. This strategic location enhances the college’s reach
to underrepresented populations. CSI intends to expand offerings and enrollments at this location over time
to ensure that the college meets the needs of all Staten Islanders.

Although they are open-access institutions with no admissions requirements except completion of a high
school degree or the equivalent, CUNY’s community colleges are also active in recruitment and outreach to
inform their local communities about the educational opportunities they provide. Kingsborough Community
College recently launched the “Kingsborough: Now in Your Neighborhood” recruitment program to address
underserved communities in Sunset Park, Canarsie, and Cypress Hills. Hostos Community College manages
multiple outreach efforts at its 60 partner schools, most of which are in the South Bronx. Its College Now
dual enrollment program includes six international schools serving recent immigrants; three transfer schools
for students who are at risk of not graduating; and the CUNY Prep program, which is an innovative college
preparatory program for out-of-school youth. Both Hostos Community College and the Borough of
Manhattan Community College host classes at CUNY in the Heights, in Inwood, to provide a more

4
Military Friendly Schools, 2018-19 at http://militaryfriendly.com/schools/.

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convenient campus location for communities in northern Manhattan. Classes at CUNY in the Heights
include a large variety of certificates and workforce development programs.

Programs to Prepare Students for College

It is not enough that CUNY accepts and enrolls many students from underrepresented groups. What really
matters is what CUNY does to prepare those students for college-level work. In addition to the resources
CUNY devotes to supporting underrepresented students in the college application process, it also runs
several notable programs that prepare students for success in college even before they apply.

CUNY and the NYC DOE are deeply connected by the students they serve and collaborate on many
important initiatives to improve student success. Roughly 60 percent of DOE graduates who go to college
attend a CUNY college, and about 78 percent of first-time freshmen at CUNY are graduates of DOE
schools.

Through the Early College Initiative (ECI), CUNY supports 8,900 students in 17 Early College Schools,
which offer a carefully integrated curriculum allowing students to graduate from high school having earned
one to two years of transferable college credit. Seven schools have a career focus and include a major
employer as a partner (known as the P-TECH 9-14 model). Of the students enrolled in the Early College
schools in 2017-18, 40 percent were Hispanic and 35 percent were Black. Early College graduates who enter
CUNY persist in degree programs at higher rates than students with similar backgrounds. They are more
likely to enroll in college after high school, to remain enrolled after two years, and to have enrolled in a four-
year college. A recent internal evaluation found that these results are particularly powerful for Black and
Hispanic students.5

College Now, which serves 22,000 high school students a year, is CUNY’s largest dual-enrollment program,
enlisting 17 colleges and more than 420 NYC high schools in its mission to prepare students for high school
graduation and college success. This program offers college-credit courses, preparatory courses, workshops,
summer programs, and access to campuses and cultural offerings free of charge to students. The racial and
ethnic makeup of College Now is similar to that of students who graduate from the DOE. In 2016-17, 33
percent of College Now participants were Hispanic and 23 percent were Black. Students who participate in
College Now have higher rates of credit accumulation and graduation than students who do not.

In 2017-18, CUNY’s LINCT to Success program served 2,700 high school seniors who were on track to
graduate but had not met traditional benchmarks for college readiness. The program trains high school
teachers to teach specially designed math and English courses that prepare students for CUNY’s placement
exams. In 2016-17, roughly 40 percent of the students who completed the LINCT math course met CUNY’s
college readiness benchmark, and close to 50 percent met both Reading and Writing proficiency. Nearly 50
percent of LINCT participants were Hispanic and over 40 percent were Black.

5
See http://www2.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/media-assets/ECIFulReport20170421.pdf. The report
concluded, “College-readiness rates in both ELA and math were higher for Black and Hispanic CUNY ECI students
than similar students. Black students met CUNY’s college-readiness benchmarks in ELA at a rate 15 percentage points
higher than similar students; and at a rate 10 percentage points higher in math. Similarly, Hispanic students met ELA and
math college-readiness benchmarks at rates 9 and 8 percentage points higher, respectively, than similar students not
enrolled in the progam…. Persistence results were markedly positive among Black students. Thirty-seven percent of
CUNY ECI Black students remained enrolled at CUNY two years post-high school graduation, significantly more than
the 23 percent of Black students in the comparison group. Persistence was also significantly higher among CUNY ECI
Asian and Hispanic students; differences among White students were positive, but not statistically significant.”

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CUNY Start and Math Start are intensive workshops designed to serve students who need remediation in
two or three subject areas (reading, writing and/or math) by providing them with low-cost, intensive
instruction in these areas prior to matriculation. Since launching in 2009, CUNY Start has served over 18,000
diverse students at nine campuses. Cumulatively, CUNY Start participants have been 29 percent Black, 29
percent Hispanic, 9 percent White, 7 percent Asian, and 26 percent multiracial or other. CUNY Start is
currently being evaluated by an external evaluator and preliminary outcomes are promising; an internal
evaluation indicated that one-half of students who completed the full-time program were fully skills proficient
in all three skills areas by the end of the program. Based on the success of CUNY Start, Math Start, an
intensive summer intervention focused specifically on fostering proficiency in math, was launched in 2016. As
in CUNY Start, participants are diverse: 31 percent Black, 30 percent Hispanic, 8 percent White, 7 percent
Asian, and 27 percent multiracial or other. And similar to CUNY Start, the program has yielded strong
outcomes: An internal evaluation found that 68 percent of all participants (and 91 percent of program
completers) became qualified to take credit-bearing math courses by the end of the program.

The CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) is an intensive, academic English language program
serving students who have been accepted to CUNY but who have significant English language learning
needs. CLIP serves a global student population hailing from 90 countries and speaking 45 languages. Almost
one-half of its students (49 percent) are Spanish speakers, just under one-third of whom are from the
Dominican Republic. After Spanish, the two most common native languages among program participants are
Chinese (16 percent) and Bengali (6 percent). The program operates on nine campuses, serving approximately
4,000 students annually.

CUNY also offers robust programs to help adult learners develop basic skills and English language
proficiency. The CUNY Adult Literacy/ESL/HSE Program provides basic skills instruction to adult
learners on 14 CUNY campuses. The program offers an opportunity to achieve basic English language
fluency and to complete a high school equivalency credential as stepping stones to further education and
more secure employment. Approximately 7,000 students were served last year, from a wide range of ethnic
and geographic backgrounds. More than four of five participants are Black or Hispanic and the majority were
born outside the United States, with 20 percent from Caribbean and African countries and 19 percent from
Spanish-speaking nations.

Degree Production for Diverse Populations


Although CUNY can be proud of its success in enrolling a highly diverse student population, historically
degree completion by Black and Hispanic students has lagged that of Asian and White students. Over the last
decade graduation rates have steadily improved for students of all races/ethnicities, but significant gaps
remain, with the average six-year bachelor’s graduation rate around 60 percent for Asian and White students,
compared to 49 percent for Hispanic students and 45 percent for Black students. The gap in graduation rates
is slightly less pronounced in associate degrees, but graduation rates in those programs are overall much lower
than in bachelor’s programs. The three-year associate graduation rate for Asian students is 22 percent,
compared to 19 percent for White students, 18 percent for Hispanic students, and 14 percent for Black
students.

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TRENDS IN 6-YEAR BACCALAUREATE SYSTEM GRADUATION RATES BY RACE/ETHNICITY
70
61.1 Asian
60 59.1
54.7 Black
54.1
50 Hispanic
48.6
39.7 45.0 White
40
37.7
30

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Entering 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Cohort

Despite these gaps in graduation rates, CUNY is a major producer of degrees for students of color, and the
number of degrees awarded to students of color increases nearly every year. In 2016-17 CUNY awarded more
bachelor’s degrees than ever before to Hispanic, Black, and Asian students. In 2016-17, CUNY awarded
7,433 bachelor’s degrees to White students, 5,800 to Hispanic students, 5,648 to Asian students, and 5,513 to
Black students. The number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students was 85 percent higher than
the number awarded just 10 years earlier. Overall, CUNY confers 60 percent of all undergraduate degrees
awarded to Hispanic students by New York City colleges, 59 percent of all the degrees to Asian graduates, 58
percent of all the degrees to Black graduates, and 37 percent of degrees awarded to White graduates.

CUNY’s Work to Address Achievement Gaps and Promote Inclusion


Because of its long history of serving students who traditionally have been underrepresented in higher
education, CUNY has long offered a variety of programs designed to support student success and inclusion.
In recent years, CUNY has strengthened its programs by rigorously assessing their impact and expanding
successful programs to operate at the large scale that our system requires. The University has also elevated
effective practices into an integrated systemwide Academic Momentum Campaign. CUNY’s Central Office
has coordinated this work, with support from Complete College America. The following section describes the
CUNY-wide Momentum Campaign and other key programs and initiatives designed not only to increase
degree completion for all students but also to shrink the graduation rate gap between Black and Hispanic
students and Asian and White students. In addition to the work described below, each CUNY college has
developed its own campus-specific programs and resources to support underrepresented students, efforts that
are too numerous to describe in this report.

CUNY’s Momentum Campaign and Remediation Reform


Over the next three years, CUNY will implement a campaign to greatly accelerate English and math gateway
course completion and overall credit accumulation, ultimately driving more timely graduation. This
Momentum Campaign builds on work already underway to reform remediation at CUNY (inspired, in part,
by the recognition that ineffective remedial programs disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic students),
and the expansion of CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), described in more detail
below. CUNY’s remediation reforms seek to replace ineffective stand-alone, noncredit remedial courses with
more-effective “co-requisite” courses, which embed developmental supports in credit-bearing courses, or
with targeted and intensive workshops available at low or no cost to students. The campaign adds two new
elements to remediation reform and ASAP expansion to further increase timely credit accumulation. First,
CUNY has required that every undergraduate college create a degree map for each major showing semester
by semester which courses lead to on-time degree completion. Most of CUNY’s colleges have degree maps

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for some or all of their majors, but not all maps meet the same standards of completeness, accuracy,
availability, or use by advisors and students. CUNY has formed a working group to address these deficits and
advance best practices in degree-mapping. The degree maps will provide a clearer roadmap for students and
academic advisors, and aid course scheduling by academic departments and registrars.

The other element of the Momentum Campaign is a “Take 30” communications initiative to encourage
students, advisors, and faculty to view 15 credits per semester as the standard for full-time enrollment, rather
than the 12 credits required for full-time financial aid. A number of CUNY colleges have already run versions
of “Take 15” campaigns, increasing the percentage of students who enrolled in 15 credits in the fall 2017
semester by 10 percentage points over fall 2016. We have been aided in this effort by Gov. Cuomo’s
introduction in fall 2017 of the Excelsior Scholarship, which incentivizes students to complete 30 credits
per year and stay on track for graduation with the promise of free tuition.

The Momentum Campaign is designed to improve graduation rates by moving students toward graduation
more rapidly, while their motivation to complete degrees remains high and before life circumstances can
intervene to distract their focus from college completion. Although these changes will benefit all students,
they will be particularly beneficial to Black and Hispanic students who not only have lower graduation rates
but also are less likely than Asian and White students to complete their degrees on time.

Support Programs for Enrolled Students


Students, particularly those who attend community college, face a host of obstacles that stand in the way of
earning their associate degrees. Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), launched by CUNY in
2007, was designed to remove some of these obstacles by providing students with a range of financial,
academic, and personal supports. ASAP currently operates across nine campuses that confer associate degrees
and serves a diverse population: 43 percent Hispanic, 32 percent Black, 13 percent White, and 11 percent
Asian. Not only has ASAP helped more students graduate overall – ASAP students have a three-year
graduation rate of 53 percent, compared with 24 percent for similar students not in the program – but its
effects also cut across race, gender, and age. Furthermore, the program has narrowed degree attainment gaps,
raising completion rates for Black and Hispanic students proportionally by a greater amount than for Asian
and White students.6 ASAP currently serves 21,000 students and will, by the end of the 2018-19 academic
year, scale to 25,000 students, representing half the entering freshman class of students matriculating into
associate degree programs. Because 70 percent of ASAP graduates transfer to a CUNY senior college within
two years of graduation and the majority of ASAP graduates are students of color, ASAP has significant
potential to increase the diversity of bachelor’s graduates.

Inspired by the success of ASAP, in fall 2015 CUNY launched ACE (Accelerate, Complete, and Engage),
an adaptation of the ASAP model to the senior college setting, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Like
ASAP, ACE aimed to double baccalaureate attainment rates, with the goal of at least 50 percent of students
graduating within four years. So far, the program shows excellent progress, with 65 percent of students in the
first cohort on track to graduate within four years, compared with 37 percent of similar students not in the
program. ACE has also narrowed the achievement gap between Black and Hispanic students and Asian and
White students with regard to retention, credits attempted and earned, and on-time graduation. Based on
ACE's promising early results, the program is poised to expand at John Jay, and CUNY is considering
offering the program at other senior colleges. ASAP and ACE together represent an opportunity for the
University to make significant progress in diversifying the population of students who successfully exit the
system, degree in hand.

6
ASAP Evaluation Brief: September 2016: ASAP Graduation Rates by Race/Ethnicity, Gender and Pell Status:
http://www1.cuny.edu/sites/asap/wp-
content/uploads/sites/8/2016/09/201609_ASAP_Eval_Brief_Subgroups_FINAL.pdf

11
The Black Male Initiative (BMI) is a CUNY-wide program with the mission to increase, encourage, and
support the inclusion and educational success of students from groups that are severely underrepresented in
higher education, in particular African, African-American/Black, Caribbean and Latino/Hispanic males. BMI
services are open to all academically eligible students and serve as models for improving educational
outcomes. Established in 2005, CUNY BMI is based on a model first introduced at Medgar Evers College.
BMI provides academic and social supports, including recruitment of underrepresented students; culturally
sensitive peer-to-peer mentoring; academic enhancements such as blocked classes, learning communities,
study groups, conferences, and workshops; and socioemotional programming, such as workshops on
understanding and managing emotions. The central BMI office also convenes an advisory committee of
internal and external partners who are committed to making the BMI project successful and work with the
senior leadership on each campus to secure support for BMI projects.

The Percy Ellis Sutton Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) program, founded in
1965, was established to provide comprehensive academic, financial, and social supports to assist capable
students who otherwise might not be able to attend college due to their educational and financial
circumstances. Serving about 10 percent of bachelor’s degree freshmen each fall, SEEK admits low-income
students who do not meet a college’s general admissions criteria. SEEK provides academic supports such as
summer workshops, tutoring, and dedicated counselors, as well as funds for textbooks. The population
served by SEEK is currently 43 percent Hispanic, 26 percent Asian, 23 percent Black, and 8 percent White.
In 2017, researchers from the Collegiate Leaders in Increasing Upward Mobility (CLIMB) initiative analyzed
enrollment and income data from historical SEEK participants and found that several years after college their
average salaries were higher than those of higher-income students who were not admitted to SEEK, and
equal to those of low-income nonparticipants whose SAT scores were on average 100 points higher.7 College
Discovery (CD) is the partner educational opportunity program at CUNY community colleges. It also
provides academic, social, and financial supports to low-income students. CD participants are 55 percent
Hispanic, 25 percent Black, 12 percent Asian, and 7 percent White. In 2015, the Foster Youth College
Success Initiative (FYCSI) was launched to implement a structured support system to help foster youth in
CUNY’s SEEK and CD programs. The FYCSI supports foster youth either already in college or about to
enter college with financial assistance and other supports to help them meet college expenses and achieve
academic success.

Academic year 2018-19 will mark the third year of CUNY’s LGBTQI Student Leadership Program. The
Leadership Program brings together undergraduate students across the CUNY system for a yearlong
leadership training experience. The program utilizes a social justice framework to engage student leaders in
workshops focusing on leadership and personal development, civic and community engagement, and social
networking opportunities with LGBTQI industry and community leaders. The program works with a cohort
of 25 undergraduate students each year and is open to any enrolled student who identifies along the LGBTQI
spectrum.

Support for Students with Disabilities


CUNY’s enrollment growth among students with disabilities can be attributed, in part, to the rise of people of
neuro-diverse backgrounds applying to college, including people on the autism spectrum and those with
intellectual disabilities. CUNY has developed signature programs to meet this demand. CUNY’s Project
REACH: Resources and Education on Autism builds campus capacity to support the multidimensional
academic and social needs of students on the autism spectrum.

College graduates with disabilities continue to lag far behind those without disabilities when it comes to
employment. Only 28 percent of people with disabilities with a bachelor’s degree or higher are employed,
compared to 76 percent of people without disabilities.8 CUNY Linking Employment, Academics &

7 Presentation at CLIMB Conference October 2017.


8 https://disabilitycompendium.org/

12
Disability Services (LEADS) is helping CUNY students with disabilities to close this opportunity gap by
empowering them with the skills and experience to make realistic academic and career choices that result in
successful career outcomes. The program provides services for eligible students which include academic
advisement, career counseling, and job placement assistance. Each CUNY campus has a LEADS advisor and
2,000 CUNY students participate in the CUNY LEADS program annually. Seventy percent of all CUNY
LEADS participants achieve competitive employment within 18 months of graduation.

The CUNY Unlimited program offers students who have intellectual disabilities individualized, rigorous,
inclusive higher education opportunities that foster career readiness and independent living. Currently
students with intellectual disabilities are enrolled in model demonstration programs at five CUNY campuses
and prepare for employment by participating in academic courses, co-curricular activities, and vocational
experiences aligned with their interests. Beginning in 2020, students accepted into the CUNY Unlimited
program will be eligible to earn a CUNY Unlimited Achievement Certificate, capturing their college
experience in a way that is valuable to the student, their communities, and future employers.

Financial Supports for Students


Recognizing that the costs of being a full-time student are a significant barrier for the many thousands of
students from low-income families who enroll at CUNY, CUNY has worked to expand students’ access to
financial and other resources and lower the costs of college. All seven CUNY community colleges partner
with Single Stop, a national not-for-profit organization that screens students for eligibility and connects
them to government benefits and local community services. Single Stop also provides legal and financial
counseling services, all of which are free to students. From 2009 to 2016, Single Stop served over 77,000
CUNY students and their families, connecting them to more than $183 million in resources, tax refunds, and
support services. Building on its successful partnership with CUNY community colleges, Single Stop is
currently piloting its first partnership with a four-year college at John Jay College. CUNY has also made a
concerted effort to expand food pantries on campuses. As of 2017-2018 there were food pantries at all seven
community colleges and at nine senior colleges. Several colleges also provide food vouchers that can be used
for meals on campus. In 2018-19, all undergraduate institutions will have a food pantry and/or food
vouchers, in accordance with Gov. Cuomo’s No Student Goes Hungry initiative.

For many students at CUNY, the cost of textbooks can be prohibitively expensive. Since nearly 40 percent of
CUNY’s students come from households with annual incomes of less than $20,000, spending the national
average of $1,200 per year on books and other supplies is too often an insurmountable barrier to academic
success. One way to reduce textbook costs is by offering courses that use free and online Open Educational
Resources (OERs). Using $8 million allocated by New York State over the last two years, CUNY funded a
number of grants to the colleges to engage faculty and implement course conversion to OER

Commitment to Diversity and Equity in Teaching and Scholarship


CUNY’s commitment to diversity and equity are integral parts of its entire approach to education and go
beyond support for diverse undergraduate students to shape its academic offerings, especially in its
professional schools and graduate programs, faculty hiring, and the kinds of academic research to which it is
home.

Graduate Student Diversity


CUNY’s graduate student population has a lower share of Black and Hispanic students than its undergraduate
population, but it is much more diverse than graduate enrollments nationally. At CUNY, graduate students
are 50 percent White, 17 percent Black, 17 percent Hispanic, and 16 percent Asian. Nationally, graduate
students are 64 percent White, 14 percent Black, 10 percent Hispanic, and 8 percent Asian.9 CUNY
recognizes that enrolling a diverse population of students in graduate programs is an important goal because
graduate degrees open doors to many of the most prestigious and stimulating careers. Diverse viewpoints

9
https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_chb.asp; Figure 3

13
greatly enrich the classroom experience for all students, and CUNY can play an important role in creating a
more diverse pipeline of future faculty members.

CUNY collaborates closely with diversity programs such as the CUNY Pipeline Program and the Trio
Council on recruitment activities aimed at underserved minorities and has hosted events for prospective
students such as a Diversity Roundtable. CUNY representatives also promote the University at recruitment
fairs around the county, including the AUCC Graduate Professional and Engineering School Fair (for
HBCUs), the Howard University Graduate Fair, and McNair Scholar Graduate Fairs in Baltimore, Atlanta,
Buffalo, N.Y., and Texas.

Many of CUNY’s graduate and professional schools have incorporated diversity and cultural sensitivity into
their missions and core identities. The CUNY Law School is dedicated to public interest law and includes
enhancing the diversity of the legal profession in its mission. The Princeton Review recently ranked CUNY
Law No. 1 in the nation for most diverse faculty, No. 5 for serving adult students, and No. 10 in having great
resources for minority students.10 The newly formed CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy’s
mission is to provide a collaborative and accessible environment for excellence in education, research, and
service in public health, to promote and sustain healthier populations in New York City and around the world
and to shape policy and practice in public health for all. Recent new initiatives include immigrant and refugee
health.

In July 2015, Gov. Cuomo announced the launch of the CUNY School of Medicine – located on the City
College campus – whose first class entered in fall 2016.The School of Medicine, among the most racially
diverse medical schools in the country, builds on the strong record of achievement of the Sophie Davis
School of Biomedical Education at City College. In the past, CUNY students had to transfer to a different
institution for their clinical courses, but City College students will now be able to earn their M.D. degrees at
their home campus. Since its inception in the early 1970s, the Sophie Davis School has always placed a special
focus on a unique patient-centered, culturally sensitive approach. It has been a leader in educating
underrepresented minorities for medical practice, many of whom go into primary care and work in
underserved communities. The new B.S./M.D. program partners with St. Barnabas Health System in the
South Bronx.

As of August 2018, the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies is an
autonomous school within CUNY, known as the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. The new
school offers higher education programs for working adults and union members, and serves as a resource
center to labor, academic, and community leaders seeking a deeper understanding of labor and urban issues.
Undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs in Urban Studies examine the problems of city
dwellers in poor, immigrant, and working-class communities and efforts to address those problems through
policy innovations derived from sound research and sharpened through democratic participation. The CUNY
School of Labor and Urban Studies offers a Scholarship for Diversity in labor, which is dedicated to the
purpose of fostering diverse leadership in the labor movement and in the academic discipline of labor studies.

Faculty Diversity
Students enrolled in minority-majority universities like CUNY benefit from exposure to faculty who are
themselves from underrepresented groups. CUNY is committed to employing a diverse faculty that reflects
its student body. CUNY employs 7,508 full-time faculty members, who are 52 percent male and 48 percent
female. Full-time faculty are 66 percent White, 13 percent Asian, 12 percent Black, and 9 percent Hispanic.
Although faculty diversity lags student diversity, a number of initiatives are bearing fruit. Campus-based
Faculty Diversity Strategic Plans (FDSPs), now provide guidance on recruiting and retaining faculty and
improving the campus climate. In 2013, the University published a user-friendly manual, Search Committee
Guide: Resources for Conducting a Successful Search, which provides a step-by-step road map of the recruitment

10
https://www.princetonreview.com/law-school-rankings/ranking-methodology

14
process, as well as information on how to encourage diversity in hiring while combatting hidden bias and
providing fair and equitable treatment for all throughout the search process. More recently, the Chancellor’s
Faculty Diversity Working Group was established to identify innovative, evidenced-based recruitment and
retention policies and practices that can be adapted for and adopted by CUNY and the Chancellor’s Faculty
Opportunity Fund was established to provide CUNY’s colleges with additional resources to recruit and retain
a diverse faculty. CUNY’s efforts to recruit a diverse faculty appear to be paying dividends. In 2016-17, 44
percent of all new, full-time faculty hires at CUNY were members of federally protected minority groups, up
from 30 percent in 2013-14.

In 2013, CUNY began a Biennial CUNY Faculty Diversity & Inclusion Conference, featuring panels,
presentations, talks and interactive demonstrations on virtually every aspect of diversity – from race and
ethnicity, sexuality and gender, age, disability, language, and religion, to topics such as cultural competency,
pedagogy for ESL students, and economic status and unconscious bias. The first conference in March 2013,
Building on a Strong Foundation: Opportunities & Challenges, was attended by 213 faculty and
administrators. The March 2015 conference, Promoting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at CUNY, was equally
well attended (with 227 attendees) and the most recent 2017 conference, CUNY at the Crossroads: Diversity
& Intersectionality in Action, saw a significant increase in attendance, with 375 participants. In 2017, CUNY-
wide discussions about diversity were extended throughout the year via regularly scheduled Faculty Diversity
Dialogues, which have addressed topics ranging from implicit biases and microaggressions to cultivating the
next generation of diverse faculty. Over the course of the last two years, more than 350 faculty members and
administrators have participated in seven dialogues. Additional University-wide programs to promote
diversity include the long-standing Diversity Projects Development Fund (DPDF), Faculty Fellowship
Publication Program (FFPP) and Latino Faculty Initiative (LFI). The DPDF supports educational projects,
scholarly research, creative endeavors, and professional activities that promote diversity, affirmative action,
and multiculturalism. The FFPP assists full-time, untenured faculty in the design and execution of scholarly
writing projects via group sessions and one-on-one meetings with an assigned mentor. And the LFI seeks to
enhance the pool of applicants for faculty and administrative positions at CUNY.

Recently, several new initiatives to support faculty from underrepresented groups have been also been
implemented. The Mellon Diversity Initiative supports sustained mentorship for junior faculty via
research/writing seminars and a series of professional development workshops. The Mid-Career Faculty
Fellowship Program aims to advance CUNY’s goal of retaining and advancing a diverse faculty by providing
support and resources to help tenured Assistant and Associate Professors advance their scholarly productivity
and move toward promotion via writing groups, mentorship and professional development. And Diversifying
CUNY’s Leadership: A CUNY-Harvard Consortium aims to cultivate a diverse group of future CUNY
leaders by providing best-in-class professional development at Harvard University for CUNY faculty and
staff who are interested in a career in higher-education leadership at CUNY.

College Leadership
In recent years CUNY has greatly increased the share of Black, Hispanic, and female leaders among its
college presidents, placing a diverse group of eminently qualified individuals in these highly visible positions.
Across CUNY’s 18 undergraduate college presidents, half are Black or Hispanic and seven are now women.11
In comparison, just 17 percent of college presidents across the country are members of ethnic minorities,
including Asians, and 30 percent are women.12

11
Includes the appointment of Dr. Claudia Schrader at Kingsborough Community College, announced by Interim
Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz on August 6 and to be confirmed by the CUNY’ Board of Trustees this fall.
12
American Council for Education. American College President Study. Retrieved from http://www.acenet.edu/news-
room/Pages/Comprehensive-Demographic-Profile-of-American-College-Presidents-Shows-Slow-Progress-in-
Diversifying-Leadership-Ranks.aspx

15
Scholarship and Service Supporting Diverse Populations
CUNY’s commitment to valuing ethnic and social diversity
CUNY Academic Institutes that Study Diverse
and equity is also reflected in its academic offerings. CUNY
Populations
colleges offer an array of academic programs focused on Africana Research Center, Brooklyn College
ethnic and area studies, and hosts over 20 academic institutes Asian-American and Asian Research Institute, Queens
devoted to in-depth scholarly study of ethnic and social College
groups, often coupled with community engagement and Caribbean Research Center, Medgar Evers College
service. 13 The following section describes a few such Center for Black Literature, Medgar Evers College
programs. Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies,
Queens College
Center on Equality, Pluralism and Policy (CEPP),
The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at City College is
Baruch College
an interdisciplinary research unit of the City University of Center for Ethnic Studies, BMCC
New York at City College devoted to the production, Center for Italian American Studies, Brooklyn
gathering, and dissemination of knowledge on Dominicans in Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate Center
the United States, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere. Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino
Studies, Graduate Center
The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute, based at Center for Latino Studies, Brooklyn College
Lehman College, is the culmination of nearly a decade of Center for Law and Social Justice, Medgar Evers
College
work by faculty, administrators, staff, and students to boost Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, Graduate Center
enrollment of Mexican and Mexican-American students, Centro de Estudios Puertorriquenos, Hunter College
foster research with and about Mexico and Mexicans in the CUNY Institute for Health Equity, Lehman College
United States, and collaborate with community-based Dominican Institute, City College
organizations to support and empower the Mexican DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy, Medgar Evers
immigrant community. With a special focus on Mexicans in College
the diaspora, especially Mexicans in New York, the Institute Institute for Irish American Studies, Lehman College
offers a space for the Mexican community to support Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the
American and the Caribbean, Graduate Center
scholarly and community advocacy projects. Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute, Lehman
College
The mission of the African Research Center is to offer a John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens
multidisciplinary curriculum devoted to in-depth study of College
Blacks in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. The Male Development and Empowerment Center,
center also serves as a bridge between Brooklyn College and Medgar Evers College
the diasporic community of New York through research,
sponsored programs, and as community representatives.

The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) is the first and only university-based research center in
the United States dedicated to the study of historical, cultural, and political issues of vital concern to lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and communities.

The Lehman in the Provinces program is a new faculty-led comprehensive academic research and teaching
collaboration with universities in Cuba. During the 2017-2018 pilot year, faculty teams made up of Cuban and
Lehman faculty developed four research projects and courses in chemistry, business, history and Africana
Studies, which culminated with a one-week visit to Cuba by Lehman faculty to work with Cuban colleagues
and their students. CUNY is also on the verge of signing an agreement with the Ministry of Higher Education
and the Ministry of Education of the Dominican Republic that would allow for collaborative research,
teaching, and learning between CUNY and the educational system of the Dominican Republic, from pre-
school to higher education. The agreement will also include opportunities for bilateral faculty and student
exchange programs, joint academic research and publication, and teacher-training institutes with a focus in
STEM areas.

13 http://www2.cuny.edu/about/centers-and-institutes/

16
CUNY Programs that Support Equity and Inclusion in the Larger Community
Finally, CUNY promotes equity and diversity in the larger community through its public service programs.
Highlights include the following programs. CUNY Citizenship Now! (CN!) is the largest University-based
legal assistance program in the nation. It provides free, high quality, and confidential citizenship and
immigration law services to all New Yorkers. CUNY CN!’s attorneys and paralegals assist more than 10,000
individuals each year at its centers and more than 2,100 at community-based events. An estimated 20 percent
of the thousands CN! serves are part of the CUNY community – students, faculty, and staff. Among the
services it provides to the CUNY community are DACA program assistance, help with Temporary Protected
Status applications, Dream.US scholarship promotion, and protection from the spring 2018 Travel Ban. CN!
also coordinates community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New
York City’s immigrant population. Citizenship Now! serves the community in many languages, including
Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, and Italian.
NYC Men Teach is a joint initiative by CUNY, the New York City Department of Education, the Mayor’s
Office of Economic Opportunity, and Teach for America that recruits and unites Black, Hispanic and Asian
male teachers. Although male students of color make up 43 percent of NYC’s public school students, only 8
percent of the entire teacher workforce consists of Black, Hispanic, and Asian men. Research shows that
students benefit from being taught by teachers who have had similar life experiences who can help create a
positive learning environment and leave a profound impact on students’ grades and self-worth.

The CUNY Service Corps exposes students to career opportunities in the nonprofit sector through paid
work experiences that improve the civic, economic, and environmental sustainability of New York City. To
date, the CUNY Service Corps has performed over 1,000,000 hours of service in community-based
organizations across New York City. Participating students achieve gains in workplace skills, abilities, and
knowledge; personal development; civic engagement and awareness of social issues; social/professional
networks; and academic motivation. Each year, the CUNY Service Corps works with a diverse portfolio of
more than 110 partner organizations, including both nonprofit and government agencies. The Service Corps
model has been leveraged to create the CUNY Cultural Corps (with a goal of diversifying the NYC Cultural
Sector) and CUNY Service Corps – Puerto Rico.

Recognizing New York City’s extensive multigenerational ties to Puerto Rico, CUNY launched extensive
efforts to help the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. At campuses across CUNY, students, faculty
and staff have worked with community partners, offering recovery aid, disaster relief, volunteer support and
financial contributions. The faculty-led CUNY Coalition for the Recovery of Puerto Rico has initiated a
formal relief effort for scholars and their students in Puerto Rico who have been displaced from their work
environments as a result of Hurricane Maria. The coalition is creating an inventory of available space and
expertise across the University. In summer 2018, the CUNY Service Corps – Puerto Rico, as part of Gov
Cuomo’s New York Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Effort, sent 195 students to the island
to help rebuild communities and neighborhoods. Students earned a financial stipend and academic credit for
this transformative work.

Conclusion

CUNY takes great pride in its long history of inclusion and proven record of lifting students from all races
and ethnicities into the middle class. Ground-breaking research published by Raj Chetty and collaborators in
2017 found that six of the top 10 best colleges in the country for promoting social mobility were part of the
CUNY system.14 Our commitment to serving all New Yorkers is evident, both in the broad diversity of the
students we educate and in the innovative policies and programs we have pioneered to recruit and serve
them. Our commitment to elevating underserved populations is also clear in the academic and professional

14
http://www.equality-of-opportunity.org/documents, and
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/opinion/sunday/americas-great-working-class-colleges.html

17
training programs we offer, such as the focus on educating students of color to serve as lawyers, doctors, and
public health practitioners in their communities. And it can be seen in the dozens of academic institutes we
house that support scholarship on diverse populations by diverse researchers. As illustrious as CUNY’s
history of equal access is, we recognize that our work is far from done and is as vital now as ever. In the
coming years we commit to continuing our existing policies that promote racial diversity and will further
expand and increase inclusion on campuses by: widening access for all students who seek a college education;
greatly improving supports for students toward degree completion, thereby closing racial gaps in degree
attainment; and continuing to improve the diversity of faculty and college leadership. These goals transcend
any specific programs or initiatives and are inherent in CUNY’s nearly 170-year-old commitment to “educate
the whole people.”

18
Appendix

Notable Recruitment Efforts by CUNY Colleges


The following section describes innovative and notable recruitment effort managed by each campus.
Baruch College has an ongoing in-depth relationship with Expanded Success Initiative (ESI), which brings
young men of color, along with their teachers and guidance counselors, to campus on a regular basis for
meetings and special events. As a result, hundreds of underrepresented minority students enter Baruch’s
pipeline. This past year Baruch hosted its first ever College Readiness Workshop with a financial-aid session
conducted in English and Spanish.

Brooklyn College’s “BC Bound” program allows qualified, driven students who have earned their GED or
TASC high school equivalency certification to enter Brooklyn College as full-time freshmen. This rigorous
program includes tutoring, special courses, workshops, dedicated staff, and events to help students succeed in
higher education and graduate in a timely manner.
City College (CCNY) established a recruitment initiative that focuses on its “neighborhood schools” in
Northern Manhattan and the Bronx. Recruitment activities include developing close relationships with staff,
teachers, and students from those schools. Students and staff from neighborhood schools are invited for
dedicated campus tours and CCNY staff participate in recruitment events at the schools.

Hunter College maintains strategic partnerships with community-based organizations and other educational
partners who support underrepresented students. Examples of partnerships created in the last year include:
College Bound Initiative, OneGoal, and the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF). The college also
partners with minority-serving organizations to host on-campus college awareness events: the United Negro
College Fund (UNCF) will host their annual “empower me tour” at Hunter in fall 2018 and the Hispanic
Federation will host a College awareness day for the Spanish speaking NYC community at Hunter in fall
2018.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice developed the “John Jay Success Collaborative” with a number of
community-based organizations (some examples are KIPP, iMentor, and BottomLine). These groups
recommend specific students they have worked with for an in-depth holistic review by John Jay’s director of
admissions. John Jay is also a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) and
the Hispanic Education Technology Services consortium (HETS) and actively recruits at national Hispanic
college fairs. Recruitment efforts feature the freshman Adelante! Latinx Leadership Program, which is a
comprehensive two-year program that supports the success of students interested in Latinx issues.

At Lehman College, the Urban Male Leadership Program and the College Readiness, Achievements &
Retention (CREAR) Futuros Program work together to increase the number of Black and Hispanic college
applicants who enroll at Lehman. Urban Male Leadership and CREAR students, under the supervision of
college staff, make school visits, conduct campus tours, and hold prospective student receptions, followed by
telephone outreach. Students who enroll following these outreach efforts are supported via targeted peer
mentoring and academic workshops.

19
Medgar Evers College’s Orientation Program for Adult Learners (OPAL) provides nontraditional adult
learners with a pathway to undergraduate degrees and a way for general education credits to be evaluated.
Prospective students have the opportunity to reflect upon their life experiences and integrate these
experiences into college credit-bearing courses at Medgar Evers College. The initiative is designed to be
inclusive of students who have studied in Yeshivas, have military experience, or other life experiences.

Because of its curriculum focus on technology, the New York City College of Technology (NYCCT)
places special emphasis on recruiting and supporting minority and female students interested in Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In 2015, NYCCT received a Minority Science and
Engineering Program three-year grant award from the U.S. Department of Education that has funded a
gender diversity initiative. Those funds support workshops for math and computer science faculty focused on
understanding and combatting implicit bias in the classroom and workplace. The college also engages in NSF
and NASA scholarship programs to fund minority students in STEM fields.

Queens College is working with high schools in the southeastern district of Queens to recruit a diverse
population of high-achieving students to the Macaulay Honors College at Queens. Prospective Honors
College students meet with Honors College staff and current students to learn about the program and its
benefits. In 2017 Queens College also became the first public college in New York State to receive a gift of $1
million from the Give Something Back foundation, which will allow 50 low-income students who entered city
high schools in 2017 to eventually attend Queens College without having to pay for tuition, fees, or room and
board.

In fall 2017, the College of Staten Island (CSI) launched its newest location, CSI St. George, on Staten
Island’s North Shore, the most diverse part of the island. This strategic location enhances the college’s reach
to underrepresented populations. CSI intends to expand offerings and enrollments at this location over time
to ensure that the college meets the needs of all Staten Islanders.

At the School of Professional Studies, a new portfolio-based admissions process launching in spring 2019
will offer returning adults a second chance at an affordable, high-quality CUNY degree through credit for
prior learning. As part of its credit for prior learning program, SPS will proactively offer college-level exams
that will allow bilingual students to earn credit for their language proficiency, a strategy that has proven
especially beneficial to Hispanic students, who constitute about 25 percent of the CUNY SPS undergraduate
population.
The York College Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Committee has been working toward enhancing
recruitment/retention of Latinx students. Since the inception of the HSI Committee three years ago,
enrollment of students who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino has increased from approximately 18 percent
to 22 percent. The HSI committee used multiple strategies including: targeting high schools in predominantly
Hispanic communities with guidance counselor receptions, offering targeted tours of the college, and visiting
new college fairs. The HSI committee’s recruitment plan has also been incorporated into the college’s overall
marketing/advertising strategy across the tri-state area.

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) recently hired an Admissions Community
Outreach Coordinator to support expanded outreach to underserved populations through the following
organizations: Harlem Center for Education, Youth Action Youth Build, the Children’s Aid Society, Passages
Academy (Correctional Facility visit), East Side House Settlement, The Coalition for Behavioral Health,
Youth Stand United, and BronxWorks.

Bronx Community College’s The Future Now program has received numerous accolades for supporting
the education of out-of-school and formerly incarcerated youth through its high school equivalency
completion program and the support it provides as students transition into college. The college is also a

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partner in the Bronx Opportunity Network, which consists of several major not-for-profit social service
organizations that provide college readiness programs to their constituencies who reside in public housing.

The Guttman Community College Office of Admissions visited 154 high schools and hosted 75 campus
visits during the 2017-18 academic year, working with community-based initiatives and organizations
including Eagle Academy for Young Men and other Expanded Success Initiative (ESI) high schools that are
committed to significantly increasing the number of Black and Latino young men who complete high school
prepared to succeed in college.

Hostos Community College recently launched an MTA advertisement campaign encouraging prospective
new and transfer students to begin the enrollment process. The “Think – Dream – Do” campaign highlights
the ethnic, social, and religious diversity of Hostos students. Hostos also manages multiple outreach efforts at
its 60 partner schools, most of which are in the South Bronx. Its College Now dual-enrollment program
includes six international schools serving recent immigrants; three transfer schools for students who are at
risk of not graduating; and the CUNY Prep program, which is an innovative college preparatory program for
out-of-school youth.

Kingsborough Community College (KCC) recently launched the “Kingsborough: Now in Your
Neighborhood” recruitment program to address underserved communities in Sunset Park, Canarsie, and
Cypress Hills. KCC works with community based organizations in these neighborhoods to provide
information about and assistance with applications for admissions and financial aid as well as access to Single
Stop services. KCC also provides bus transportation to bring prospective students from these neighborhoods
to campus to learn more about the college and complete enrollment processes.

LaGuardia Community College’s campus diversity agenda reflects the unique characteristics of its student
body, 60 percent of whom are foreign born. Helping students who come from more than 150 countries and
speak 96 languages succeed requires deep engagement across campus and with community partners.
LaGuardia Rising, a campuswide ad hoc group made up of students, faculty, and staff, oversees the college’s
outreach to ensure that every member of the campus community is aware of and fully understands the unique
needs of immigrant students, and can mobilize campus and community resources to provide immediate
emergency support when needs arise. The committee’s online resource web page is a succinct and easily
accessible, centralized location for communicating with students about urgent matters such as looming filing
deadlines and travel restrictions. Listings include confidential legal or financial help. The web page has over
10,000 hits annually.

Queensborough Community College (QCC) is working to create a pipeline for nontraditional learners and
people from its communities who may not have considered attending or going back to college to finish their
degrees. The hope is to entice a more “diverse in terms of life experience” population of students to the
college. In summer 2018, QCC partnered with the Queens Public Library to provide intensive math
workshops for students enrolled in a high school equivalency completion program. The partnership included
five informal sessions and several walk-in sessions at the Flushing Library. Currently, nine students from this
initiative have applied and are matriculated at QCC for the fall 2018 semester, yielding an 11 percent
conversion rate and a pipeline of over 70 students for future semesters.

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Trends in Undergraduate Enrollment, by Race: University Totals
American
Fall Year Indian Asian Black Hispanic White Total
2008 413 36,196 60,234 60,307 56,143 213,293
2009 540 38,901 62,694 65,008 59,129 226,272
2010 605 40,542 61,731 66,294 59,312 228,484
2011 596 43,727 64,199 69,252 61,329 239,103
2012 606 45,219 62,396 69,791 59,725 237,737
2013 662 46,746 62,144 72,555 57,390 239,497
2014 742 48,716 64,196 75,307 56,685 245,646
2015 801 49,740 64,347 76,960 53,431 245,279
2016 812 50,714 63,238 77,633 51,129 243,526
2017 788 51,492 62,480 79,020 50,640 244,420

Trends in Undergraduate Enrollment, by Race: University Totals, Percentages


American
Fall Year Indian Asian Black Hispanic White Total
2008 0.2 17.0 28.2 28.3 26.3 100.0
2009 0.2 17.2 27.7 28.7 26.1 100.0
2010 0.3 17.7 27.0 29.0 26.0 100.0
2011 0.2 18.3 26.8 29.0 25.6 100.0
2012 0.3 19.0 26.2 29.4 25.1 100.0
2013 0.3 19.5 25.9 30.3 24.0 100.0
2014 0.3 19.8 26.1 30.7 23.1 100.0
2015 0.3 20.3 26.2 31.4 21.8 100.0
2016 0.3 20.8 26.0 31.9 21.0 100.0
2017 0.3 21.1 25.6 32.3 20.7 100.0

Trends in Graduate Enrollment, by Race: University Totals


American
Fall Year Indian Asian Black Hispanic White Total
2008 53 3,758 4,982 4,413 17,774 30,980
2009 64 4,143 5,145 4,854 19,037 33,243
2010 66 4,366 5,014 4,756 19,635 33,837
2011 62 4,423 4,964 4,663 18,913 33,025
2012 50 4,252 4,791 4,812 17,472 31,377
2013 55 4,230 4,722 4,786 16,607 30,400
2014 54 4,232 4,616 4,728 15,856 29,486
2015 55 4,481 4,891 4,807 14,844 29,078
2016 52 4,639 5,130 4,995 14,615 29,431
2017 52 4,822 5,246 5,333 14,226 29,679

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Trends in Graduate Enrollment, by Race: University Totals, Percentages
American
Fall Year Indian Asian Black Hispanic White Total
2008 0.2 12.1 16.1 14.2 57.4 100.0
2009 0.2 12.5 15.5 14.6 57.3 100.0
2010 0.2 12.9 14.8 14.1 58.0 100.0
2011 0.2 13.4 15.0 14.1 57.3 100.0
2012 0.2 13.6 15.3 15.3 55.7 100.0
2013 0.2 13.9 15.5 15.7 54.6 100.0
2014 0.2 14.4 15.7 16.0 53.8 100.0
2015 0.2 15.4 16.8 16.5 51.0 100.0
2016 0.2 15.8 17.4 17.0 49.7 100.0
2017 0.2 16.2 17.7 18.0 47.9 100.0

Trends in Associate Degrees Granted, by Race: University Totals


Academic American
Year Indian Asian Black Hispanic White Total
2007-2008 20 1,557 3,286 2,512 2,616 9,991
2008-2009 16 1,650 3,377 2,816 2,644 10,503
2009-2010 18 1,864 3,533 3,103 2,685 11,203
2010-2011 21 2,191 4,342 3,895 3,244 13,693
2011-2012 18 2,114 4,039 4,187 3,259 13,617
2012-2013 36 2,230 4,245 4,405 2,970 13,886
2013-2014 37 2,392 4,443 4,689 3,028 14,589
2014-2015 54 2,486 4,729 5,150 3,059 15,478
2015-2016 53 2,532 5,010 5,441 3,309 16,345
2016-2017 70 2,885 5,053 6,185 3,179 17,372

Trends in Bachelor’s Degrees Granted, by Race: University Totals


Academic American
Year Indian Asian Black Hispanic White Total
2007-2008 28 2,961 4,399 3,209 6,462 17,059
2008-2009 34 3,391 4,056 3,640 6,772 17,893
2009-2010 26 3,468 4,222 3,969 6,768 18,453
2010-2011 26 3,670 4,714 4,042 7,620 20,072
2011-2012 34 4,058 4,543 4,547 7,591 20,773
2012-2013 32 4,459 4,901 4,540 7,858 21,790
2013-2014 47 4,818 4,939 4,951 7,743 22,498
2014-2015 50 4,971 5,317 4,929 7,469 22,736
2015-2016 46 5,327 5,159 5,412 7,765 23,709
2016-2017 62 5,648 5,513 5,800 7,433 24,456

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Trends in Master’s Degrees Granted, by Race: University Totals
Academic American
Year Indian Asian Black Hispanic White Total
2007-2008 10 869 1,269 760 4,639 7,547
2008-2009 10 944 1,291 801 4,554 7,600
2009-2010 6 1,004 1,328 952 4,835 8,125
2010-2011 13 1,065 1,349 975 5,355 8,757
2011-2012 18 1,197 1,296 1,119 5,056 8,686
2012-2013 27 1,158 1,430 1,152 5,042 8,809
2013-2014 26 1,180 1,413 1,178 4,792 8,589
2014-2015 20 1,201 1,400 1,032 4,369 8,022
2015-2016 17 1,296 1,372 1,195 4,111 7,991
2016-2017 14 1,346 1,357 1,135 4,053 7,905

Trends in Doctoral Degrees Granted, by Race: University Totals


Academic American
Year Indian Asian Black Hispanic White Total
2007-2008 57 31 26 244 358
2008-2009 2 52 21 23 312 410
2009-2010 64 29 28 287 408
2010-2011 54 30 34 371 489
2011-2012 1 78 31 36 348 494
2012-2013 1 83 29 47 360 520
2013-2014 1 73 26 37 408 545
2014-2015 85 37 36 342 500
2015-2016 74 37 54 379 544
2016-2017 73 38 48 362 521

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