BMCC Learning Academy Receives More Than $2.6 Million to Expand Successful Program

October 19, 2016

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) has received a $2,625,000 Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand the BMCC Learning Academy, which will serve at least 2,800 students over the next five years.

This small-cohort program — which began in 2012 and served only freshmen — was expanded to serve students all the way to graduation and transfer, because of its high retention and graduation rates. The general BMCC student retention rate is 63.6% a year, while the BMCC Learning Academy retains 81% of its students in a one-year period.

“Expanding access to successful cohort models is a critical strategy for accomplishing our highest priority: improving student success and facilitating timely degree completion,” says Karrin Wilks, BMCC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who is principal investigator for the grant.

“We know that students in BLA have improved retention rates, and this generous $2,625,000 Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education will enable BMCC to welcome more students into this important program and further our strategic priorities,” she adds. “The grant also will allow us to deepen and broaden faculty expertise in high-impact pedagogical practices which have the potential to reach even more students.”

Alexandra Pyak, Program Manager of the BMCC Learning Academy, says the program groups students by academic subject areas, such as Liberal Arts, English and Literature, Human Services, Social Sciences, Criminal Justice and STEM.

“They meet regularly with a dedicated academic advisor and benefit from counseling services, financial aid assistance and other college services which are integrated into their schedule,” she says. “Every student receives customized academic and other supports that are sustained throughout their time at BMCC — right up to graduation and transfer to another institution.”


Related News: BMCC Freshman Learning Academic Wins New Grant


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  • U.S. Department of Education awards $2,625,000 to BMCC Learning Academy
  • Five-year project is titled, Promoting Student Retention and Success through the Expansion of Learning Communities
  • Students are grouped by academic subject areas, and work with designated counselor

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