Program to Steer High School Students Toward College Receives National Recognition

Published: December 07, 2012

CCLCQueensborough Community College was targeted for a prestigious research study on 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) programs, conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. The college is one of only fifteen across the country chosen for the study.

QCC’s program “Community Campus” offers high school and college credits to students who enroll in introductory courses such as laser and fiber optics, astronomy, English, architectural drafting and design, mathematics, and theatre.

Queensborough also offers enrichment courses such as “Repurpose,” an advanced enrichment course in which students design and build objects that serve practical functions from repurposed materials.  The students attend lectures, work in labs, document their experiences, and then present their projects in class – and recently at an Apple retail store in Manhattan.  In addition, the center serves middle school students during a seven-week, full-time summer enrichment program.

As part of the study, CCLC visited campus for two days, interviewing instructors, students, staff, and principals, while observing classes and activities.  The study was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, which will publish four “Lessons Learned Guides” in the fall of 2013, highlighting Queensborough Community College as a model for 21st CCLC programs nationwide.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center program is a federally funded grant, administered through the New York State Education Department and awarded to Queensborough in 2010. The program serves students from Jamaica High School in Jamaica, Queens and the Campus Magnet Educational Complex, located in Cambria Heights, New York as well as from several New York City Department of Education middle schools.

“This generous grant has allowed us to intervene at a critical developmental stage for struggling middle and high school students and helps to instill in all the participants a positive attitude toward attending college,” said Denise Ward, Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development and Project Investigator on the grant.

“Being immersed in the college community and mastering college level work is a great motivator,” Ward added. “The students gain tremendous self-confidence.  Through our program, QCC has successfully narrowed the performance gaps between minority and Caucasian students in the middle/high schools."

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