Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced that College Access for All will add eleven middle school districts – 193 middle schools – for the 2017-18 school year. District 4 in Manhattan; Districts 7, 9, 10, and 12 in the Bronx; Districts 16, 17, 23, and 32 in Brooklyn; and Districts 24 and 30 in Queens are being added to the program. All school districts in the Bronx are now part of College Access for All, a key initiative in Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda.
Through College Access for All, middle school students have an opportunity to visit a college campus in 7th grade, and middle schools also receive funding and materials to engage all students and families in a college-going culture. College Access for All – and the entire Equity and Excellence for All agenda – are only possible because of mayoral control of New York City public schools.
“Without mayoral control, the citywide policies that have led to an increase in our students going to college would not be possible, and expanding College Access for All is no exception,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Through this program, we are showing our students that we believe in their path to college, and giving them the resources to get there. Long gone are the days of a 50% graduation rate. Now, we not only give our students the tools they need to succeed from 3-K through high school, we help them picture and encourage an academic life after graduation, as well.”
“This is one more step in our path to College Access for All, regardless of students’ background or whether their parents attended college, and reforms like this are only possible because of mayoral control,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “As a first-generation college student myself, I understand the importance of building awareness early so that students can envision their own path to, and success in, college and careers.”
The Chancellor also announced the opening of the first-ever applications for 3-K for All, a new Equity and Excellence for All initiative that is also only possible because of mayoral control. 3-K for All begins this year in District 7 and District 23 in Brownsville, Ocean Hill, and parts of East New York. New York City families with children born in 2014 are eligible to apply for free, full-day, high-quality 3-K for All starting today at www.nyc.gov/3k or by calling 311. Enrollment specialists are on the ground in both districts to help families to find a program that best fits their child’s needs.
The College Access for All expansion will include 193 new schools, in addition to the 171 schools participating this year across ten community school districts and District 75, for a total of 364 College Access for All middle schools. Across the 364 schools, approximately 44,000 7th-graders will have an opportunity to visit a college campus next year through the initiative. Overall, the 364 schools serve a total of about 120,000 students grades 6 through 8. By the 2018-19 school year, this initiative will expand to all 32 New York City school districts.
In addition to college visits, College Access for All middle schools receive funding to partner with CBOs to provide early college awareness workshops, activities, and potentially additional college visits. They also receive DOE-developed materials on early college awareness, including a 10-lesson curriculum for a students and family guides available in 10 languages. The DOE has piloted this work with 10 District 75 schools in 2016-17, and will add 10 more District 75 schools in 2017-18.
“The experience our students have had with College Access for All is beyond anything we could imagine,” said Roderick Palton, principal of PS K140 in Brooklyn. “To hear our students with disabilities say ‘I want to go to this college’ and see where their hard work and perseverance can get them is amazing. For us, each additional student on the path to college is a big deal, and I am excited to see that more District 75 and non-District 75 schools will participate in College Access for All next year and make college a real possibility for their students.”
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“College Access for All – Middle School is about preparing students to reach higher education beyond high school and promoting a ‘college-going culture’ in communities where attending college is not necessarily the norm. Thanks to this effort, more high school students will have access to the resources and support they need to successfully prepare for and attend college. While a relatively simple initiative, College Access for All is a huge investment in our future generations and can make a difference between a student deciding to continue studying or not,” said Congressman Jose Serrano.
“The expansion of the College Access for All program will bring much needed resources and exposure for both parents and students to make the best informed decision about their academic careers after high school,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “I would like to commend Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña for making the right investments for our public school students.”
Through College Access for All, by 2018-19, every middle school student will have the opportunity to visit a college campus and every high school student will graduate with an individual college and career plan. The initiative has also eliminated the CUNY college application fee for low-income students, and made the SAT exam available free of charge during the school day for all high school juniors. College Access for All is also supporting new training and funding for 100 high schools to build a schoolwide college and career culture; funding for 28 additional high schools to hire alumni “bridge coaches” to ensure graduating seniors follow through on their plans to enroll in college in the fall; and funding for new Student Success Centers – college and career planning hubs – serving 15 schools at 4 campuses.
College Access for All is part of the Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which aims to ensure that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready. Building on record-high graduation rates, record-low dropout rates, and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old, Equity and Excellence for All is creating a path from pre-K to college and careers for every child in every neighborhood in New York City.