Marcus Ayala

 

The New York City Councilmember met with representatives of the CUNY system on Thursday to find solutions to the problems of the CUNY Pathways program.

Pathways was first used in the 2012 as a way to help CUNY Community College students who were transitioning to four-year CUNY Colleges. It helps ease some of the financial burdens of transferring.

The problem was that often students were not allowed to transfer certain courses they had taken, meaning they had to pay more in tuition at their new four-year colleges.

Councilmember Robert Holden, who has worked at CUNY’s City Tech (a two- and four-year college) said he firsthand witnessed the strains that students faced. Students would sometimes have to retake some courses because, while the courses were similar, the four-year institutions would not give credit for the courses taken at the community college.

One of the speakers on Thursday was Dara Byrne, Dean of Undergraduate Studies at CUNY’s John Jay College, which has a four-year program. Byrne acknowledged that the problems with transferring credits can affect students’ ability to graduate on time. The difficulty is made much worse for large numbers of students who must work full-time to pay tuition.

John Jay partners with the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, Hostos Community College, Queensborough Community College, Kingsborough Community College and others to try to ease the transfer process.

From 2012 to 2014 John Jay saw the percentage of credits transferred rise from 59.4 percent to 64.3 percent.

Pathways still has a long way to go and a lot of improvements to be made. Still it’s drawing in many new students and it’s only going to bring in more as all the improvements are made.