CUNY College Now

Achieve In High School. Succeed In College.

FAQs

General Information

  • How much does College Now cost?
  • What do College Now students do?
  • Who is in the College Now classes?
  • How do students sign up/get an application for College Now?  When do they apply?
  • When will students find out if they can participate in a College Now course or activity?

Eligibility

  • Why is enrollment limited to NYC public high school students?
  • Is there a limit to how many college credits can be earned through College Now?

School-College Partnerships

  • Where and when do students participate in College Now?
  • How are the College programs similar and different at each campus?
  • What is the difference between College Now at a community college and senior college?
  • What is the process by which schools can establish a relationship with a College Now program?
  • Can a school have more than one College Now partnership?
  • Can a high school change its existing campus partner?
  • How can a student participate in a College Now program that is not his/her partner college?
  • I attend an Early College high school — can I participate in College Now?
  • Do students typically attend the CUNY college where they enrolled in College Now?  Is College Now a recruitment tool for CUNY campuses?

Academics

  • What are the benefits of participating in College Now?
  • What courses are available through College Now?
  • If College Now offers courses for college credit, why would students take a noncredit course?
  • Will students get credit for taking College Now courses?  If so, what kind and how much?
  • Which colleges will accept credits earned in College Now? Will CUNY credit transfer to colleges outside CUNY?
  • Can students get high school credit for college courses?
  • Can students get college credit for an advanced high school course?
  • What is the difference between College Now and Advanced Placement (AP)?

General Information

1.  How much does College Now cost?

College Now is FREE for all NYC public high school students.

2.  What do College Now students do?

Depending on the particular CN partner college and on the student’s academic qualifications, students might:

  • take a college class and transfer the credit to a CUNY college or other college when entering as an undergraduate (see FAQ# 21);
  • take a course to help improve reading, writing, and math skills in preparation for college;
  • attend an event on a college campus or meet students and professors to get a taste of what college life is all about.

To learn more, go to the Courses section of this website.

3.  Who is in the College Now classes?

College Now courses generally fall into two groups:

  • Most classes are filled with high school students; these ‘cohort courses’ are special College Now sections.  These sections may be offered either on the high school campus or on the college campus depending on the College Now program.
  • Sections might be offered where the majority of students are regularly enrolled college-aged students. While this model is not common, it is offered in a few campus programs.  These programs specify that students take and pass a College Now ‘cohort course’ before requesting participation in one of these special ‘waiver-funded’ courses.

4.  How do students sign up/get an application for College Now?  When do they apply?

There is no centralized application process for College Now; students wishing to participate should begin by finding out the status of a high school’s College Now partnership.  Depending on how these questions are answered, students will be directed either to contact their high school’s College Now liaison or a college program directly. Application deadlines depend on the type of course or activity and on the application procedures of a particular campus’s College Now program.

5.  When will students find out if they can participate in a College Now course or activity?

This will depend on the particular course and College Now program a student has applied for.  For more specific information, students should contact their school’s College Now liaison or the appropriate campus-based College Now administrator.

Eligibility

6.  Why is enrollment limited to NYC public high school students?

College Now funds are provided by CUNY and the NYCDOE.  The program supports school-college collaborations in an effort to help increase college awareness, preparation and successful transition.  Participation is restricted to students registered with the DOE, including registered homeschooled students and students with disabilities whose private school tuition is supported by the DOE.  For more information, please refer to the CN Eligibility Requirements.  More information can also be found on the DOE website about Home School Instruction and about Special Education.

7.  Is there a limit to how many college credits can be earned through College Now?

Students may earn a maximum of 12 credits through College Now over the course of high school.

School-College Partnerships

8.  Where and when do students participate in College Now?

Depending on the CUNY campus linked with the school, some courses and events take place on the college campus and others at the high school. Most College Now classes and events take place before or after school, or in some cases, on the weekend.   College Now also offers several experiential summer programs.

9.  How are the College programs similar and different at each campus? 

Generally speaking, campuses offer College Now through one of the following models:

  • At the high school (usually before or after the school day): High school teachers are appointed by the college department to teach the college course, or an instructor is appointed by the college to teach the course at the high school site.  Curriculum, texts and professional development are provided through the college and College Now program.  Schools must recruit and retain a full classroom of students (20-25 students) to support this model.
  • At the college (usually after school or on Saturdays): Instructors are typically regular college adjuncts or full-time faculty.  Students from several high schools sit together in one class, sometimes with matriculated college students. Courses usually begin after 4:00 PM to allow students to travel to the campus.

10.  What is the difference between College Now at a community college and senior college?

Regardless of the CUNY campus, the vast majority of courses offered in College Now are introductory college-credit courses.  Students must meet the CUNY eligibility requirements for participation, which is typically a 75+ on the ELA Regents exam for non-math or science courses.  The CN programs at some CUNY community colleges offer a limited number of credit courses for students who fall below the CUNY requirement; several of the community colleges also offer 0-credit developmental/remedial courses.  View a list of sample courses associated with each campus.

Recently, CUNY has undertaken a comprehensive review of college curriculum that will benefit all students transferring across campuses.  (See Pathways website for more information)  The Pathways Initiative will make the transfer of College Now credit even more straightforward.  To evaluate the transferability of current courses, please review the CUNY online course transfer system, TIPPS.

11.  What is the process by which schools can establish a relationship with a College Now program?

College Now operates on a partnership model, whereby an individual high school develops a close relationship with a College Now program at one CUNY campus.  All formal partnerships are approved by CUNY’s Central Office and is reviewed annually.

  • Established Partnerships : School-College partnerships are the foundation of College Now.  Generally, a high school partners with one CUNY college to offer College Now activities for students.  School leaders with Established CN Partnerships work closely with College Now directors to address key program issues, such as course offerings, student recruitment, eligibility and student supports.  Partners develop a shared understanding around student needs and college readiness goals, and they agree to recruitment and retention goals for each semester/academic year.  The school devotes some staff resources to planning and implementation, and funds from the college program support a school-based liaison. Students from Established Partner Schools receive priority registration.
  • New and Emerging Partnerships : The relationship between a high school and College Now with a New and Emerging Partnership is less formal and intensive than one with an Established Partnership.  Typically, fewer than 20 students from the school might enroll in the program each academic year.  Students in schools with New and Emerging Partnerships almost always enroll in courses at the college campus.  Recruitment and planning is less time intensive on the part of school staff and College Now program staff, although minimal funding may be provided to support a school-based liaison.  With sustained and supported participation over time, a school’s relationship with College Now can evolve into an Established Partnership.

College Now programs held on the college campus will make every effort to accommodate eligible students from schools that do not have an arrangement as a partner school.

12.  Can a school have more than one College Now partnership?

Some large, comprehensive high schools have a formal partnership with 2 CUNY campus programs.  In addition, because each College Now program offers different courses (based on the approval of college academic departments), schools have sometimes made a case to work with a second campus in order to offer a specific course to a full cohort of students. These arrangements are typically linked to a specific academic theme at the school.  Students may also apply to another college’s program on an individual basis for a course that is not offered through their College Now partner college.

13.  Can a high school change its existing campus partner?

College Now is a CUNY-wide program with the potential to serve students in every NYC public school. After reviewing the other FAQs listed in this section, high school leaders wishing to change their campus partnership should contact the director of their current College Now partner to discuss the reasons for this request.  We will review these with campus directors as part of the partnership evaluation in 2012-13. CUNY Central Office administrators will not consider requests for changes based on the college type. ( See especially #11 and #18.)

14.  How can a student participate in a College Now program that is not his/her partner college?

Program partnership is not observed in the College Now summer programs, as these offerings are discipline-specific, e.g. arts, science, maritime tech, etc. Students wishing to participate at a non-partner college during the school year can apply directly to that college, but they may be put on a waitlist. ( See #8 above.)

15.  I attend an Early College high school — can I participate in College Now?

Students in these schools have multiple opportunities to enroll in college-sponsored courses and activities through their schools.  Therefore, College Now participation from students in Early College schools is limited to the summer.

16.  Do students typically attend the CUNY college where they enrolled in College Now?  Is College Now a recruitment tool for CUNY campuses?

The primary goal of College Now is to provide high school students in New York City an opportunity to experience a college course or college-sponsored activity in order to improve their awareness of the demands of college learning and/or their preparation for college.  The vast majority of College Now participants who eventually enroll in CUNY enroll at a college other than the one where they participated in College Now.  Please refer to our online data tables to see CUNY-wide matriculation patterns for College Now students.

It is 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.

Academics

17.  What are the benefits of participating in College Now?

A variety of studies have shown that College Now participation leads to better college outcomes, including college enrollment, retention, credit accumulation and GPA.  College Now – and dual enrollment in general – has been the subject of a handful of quasi-experimental studies.  In addition, College Now partnerships help school leaders, teachers, and counselors learn more about the realities of college-level study for their students. Students report that College Now gives them an understanding of what college looks like, thereby addressing some of the social-emotional aspects of college and “College Knowledge” elements highlighted in prominent college transition research.

Going to college is an important decision—but students should set their sights on succeeding in college. Participating in College Now can provide important information and an understanding of college while students are still in high school.  Students who qualify can start taking College Now courses for college credit, experience the intellectual challenges of college work, and earn credits that might transfer—all without paying costly university tuition.  College Now students are able to tour a college campus, interact with students and professors, and find support in a community of high school students who are going through similar life decisions.  By providing preparation for college, the program increases a student’s range of choices after high school graduation.

18.  What courses are available through College Now?

This depends on several factors, including the high school’s status as a CN partner school and the academic qualifications of the student.  Search our course listings for a sample of courses available or search our high school partner list to find contact information for the College Now liaison at a particular high school.  Courses offered outside of a school’s CN partnership are usually limited to college-credit courses that meet on a college campus (not at a high school).  CN Summer program participation is not limited by the College Now partnership. Summer programs often have a separate application process and may have different eligibility requirements.

19.  If College Now offers courses for college credit, why would students take a noncredit course?

Not every student will meet the eligibility requirements for college credit courses.  Although taking a course for no college credit might seem like a waste of time, it may pay off—literally—if it helps students avoid developmental (or 0-credit) classes when they get to college.  For example, developmental classes are assigned to first-year students who do meet certain eligibility criteria.  Students don’t earn credit towards graduation for these classes and often can’t move on to the courses they really want to take until passing developmental courses.  Even these developmental classes cost money—not to mention time!

20.  Will students get credit for taking College Now courses?  If so, what kind and how much?

Most College Now activities are offered for college credit, but not all. The number of credits varies depending on the course.  Some pre-college activities are offered for high school credit, and most workshops or special events do not carry any type of credit at all.

21.  Which colleges will accept credits earned in College Now? Will CUNY credit transfer to colleges outside CUNY?

In most cases, College Now credits transfer directly within the CUNY system.  And many colleges outside CUNY also accept credits from CUNY campuses.  The determination of whether to award credit for courses taken outside of the college where students attend happens at the level of each academic department.  Students should request a transcript from the CUNY campus that awarded them credit. They should also check with the colleges they are applying to regarding their credit transfer policies.

22.  Can students get high school credit for college courses? 

College Now is a dual enrollment program.  We do not recommend that schools offer dual credit for participation.

23.  Can students get college credit for an advanced high school course?

College Now does not determine the curriculum for college courses; the curriculum is determined by the college’s academic departments through a lengthy process that involves approval by the college and, ultimately, the NY State Education Department.  The learning goals, content, assessments and texts are all determined at the college departmental level.  Although some colleges have worked with high schools around special joint programs – such as in career and technical education (CTE) fields – College Now is not involved in these considerations.

24.  What is the difference between College Now and Advanced Placement (AP)?

College Now is a free program that offers pre-college and college-credit courses.  Students who are successful in a credit course receive a transcript from the college showing the GPA and college credits earned.  These credits will transfer to many institutions within and outside of CUNY.

Advanced Placement (AP) is a high school course preparing students for an exam that, depending on the student’s score, may confer credit at the college where a student matriculates.  The College Board gives high school teachers the AP curriculum and training for a given course, and the school may or may not cover the costs of the AP exam.  Scores of 4 or 5 will typically earn students either credit or an exemption from taking a specific course, although it is up to the academic departments at the college to determine eligible scores.  At many CUNY campuses, a score of 3 can earn a student college credit.  For more information about AP, visit the College Board website; many colleges across the U.S. also list an AP policy on their individual institutional website.

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