College Now is a nationally recognized, no-cost high school-to-college partnership
between Kingsborough Community College, a branch of the City University of New York
(CUNY), and 39 New York City public high schools encompassing almost 7,000 students
annually. Its primary purpose is to prepare students, especially middle-range or moderate
achievers, to successfully manage the educational and emotional changes that occur
during their transformation into a college freshmen. The program offers rigorous
freshman-level college credit and developmental coursework without cost to high school
sophomores, juniors and seniors.
At the time it was conceived in the fall of 1983, high schools and colleges rarely
collaborated. The program became operational in spring 1984 when it recruited its
first class of 449 students at four local high schools. It was immediately successful
and the program expanded over the next five years to 17 high schools.
In 1998, in response to the issues of declining high school academic performance and
intensive demands on remediation at CUNY, the university replicated the program at
its five other community colleges. In February of 2000, the Chancellors of CUNY and
the New York City Board of Education announced the creation of a city-wide educational
collaborative called the College Now Initiative, the purpose of which was to increase
student access to the College Now program and expand its mission to include higher
standards of academic achievement for all public high school students. This historic
partnership has dramatically expanded the College Now program to include the university's
undergraduate colleges and increased the number of school partnerships to over 470.
The goal of the initiative is to eventually reach all NYC public high schools and serve
over 45,000 students annually.