College Now

College Now is CUNY’s largest collaborative program with the New York City secondary public school system. The program offers dual enrollment and college-readiness programs in more than 400 NYC high schools and enrolls over 20,000 students annually. In all, there are seventeen campus-based College Now programs which are overseen by a central office. Although the program varies from school to school and campus to campus, they are similar in terms of overall structure, implementation and goals.

The goal of College Now, much like many dual enrollment programs, is to help students meet high school graduation requirements and prepare for success in college, both academically and socially. In addition, program administrators have designed program activities with the goal of enhancing performance on Regents and CUNY placement exams so that students will be able to enroll in college without the need for remediation.

Visit the Collaborative Programs online Data Book to read quantitative and qualitative studies on how College Now supports student persistence in college, as well as recent research on the ways dual-enrollment programs are improving rates of student success in postsecondary education.

A common misperception is that College Now (CN) acts as a recruitment school for CUNY and, specifically, a recruitment program for a particular CUNY college. While a slight majority of College Now participants who graduate from high school do enroll in CUNY, the overwhelming proportion of those participants enroll at a different campus from where they participated in College Now — 82.2% in fall 2009. In fact, out of 7,013 entering CN alumni entering CUNY that same year, 4,770 participated in a community college-based CN program and 2,243 in a senior college CN program. 68% (3,224) of those students whose CN experience was in a community college program matriculated in a senior college, and 32% (1,546) enrolled in a community college.

CUNY’s commitment to the education of all New Yorkers begins long before the start of freshman year. Through its Collaborative Programs, CUNY invests substantial human and financial resources in the service of public school students and out-of-school youth. The work CUNY does with the NYC public schools through the Office of Academic Affairs is known collectively as Collaborative Programs. Currently, Collaborative Programs include CUNY-sponsored or affiliated schools; programs with pre-college and college courses and activities, academic advising and support services; and arts projects. The Office of Academic Affairs manages these efforts in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and other organizations.

College Now Activities

The College Now program offers qualified high school students opportunities to enroll in a variety of activities including college-credit courses, college-preparatory courses and activities, and experiential-based summer programs. Access to campus facilities and cultural offerings are also offered to students. To take a college-credit class, for example, you’ll need to meet course enrollment requirements. Most College Now activities are available for students in the 11th or 12th grade, but there are some preparatory activities available for 10th graders. In most cases, classes and events take place before or after school or, in some cases, on the weekend.

College-credit Courses: College credit offerings range from courses in the arts and humanities, social sciences, math, and technology. These consist of mainly freshman-level college courses and also include developmental reading, writing, and math courses. Course offerings vary from campus to campus.

Pre-college Courses: A variety of pre-college courses are available for students not yet ready to take college-credit courses and some are offered for high school credit. These activities were jointly developed by college faculty and high school teachers and focus on developing students’ academic skills.

Workshops and Other Activities: College preparatory workshops, arts and music workshops, meetings with admissions and guidance counselors, use of college libraries and facilities are just some other ways students are engaged in the College Now experience.