The City University of New York’s 2012-2016 Master Plan includes the following goals for SEEK and College Discovery (pages 69-70):
SEEK and CD
- SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge) and CD (College Discovery) are the two City University long-standing higher education opportunity programs designed to assist high-potential, low income students who otherwise might not be able to pursue a college degree because they are not academically well prepared. In July 2011, SEEK was renamed the Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK Program. This change memorializes the contributions of Percy Sutton, who led the New York State legislative delegation that drafted the law creating the SEEK Program in 1966.
- SEEK and CD will continue to serve as venues for piloting best practices and demonstrating successful collaborative efforts between academic departments and student support services divisions. CUNY is committed to integrating and sharing the benefits of SEEK and CD innovations in instruction, counseling, academic support, student leadership development, advocacy, and professional development within and without the larger CUNY community.
- SEEK and CD professionals have become increasingly aware, when establishing admission profiles, of the need to consider the programs’ limited budgets and their mission to provide access to students who truly need services. The newly convened SEEK/CD Enrollment Management Task Force is charged with recommending enrollment and budgeting models. The recommendations are expected to be comprehensive and to mark a major departure from previous practice. Under discussion are areas such as transfer, reallocating freshmen, pre-college credits, and financial-aid award components.
- A newly constituted assessment committee will develop and implement a program-wide assessment plan that establishes standard metrics of effectiveness for SEEK and CD including effectiveness of out-of-class activities such as counseling, tutoring, and co-curricular activities. The data will provide objective evidence that will be used to improve outcomes in SEEK and CD programs. Additionally, during the period of this Master Plan, CUNY will develop standardized electronic formats for various reports and will explore database management systems that all campus programs might use in their counseling and academic support components. CUNY will also investigate new ways to use technology (e.g., instructional software, diagnostic instruments, and electronic inventories) to deliver support services.
- CUNY will also continue to convene two signature biennial conferences for SEEK and CD, “Sharing What Works” and “Tutor Talk,” and will expand participation. Additionally, recognizing that merely earning a degree is not sufficient to guarantee student success, the SEEK and CD programs have increasingly been expanding initiatives designed to improve students’ soft skills. Coursework is being supplemented with co-curricular activities such as internships, community service, community reads, and study abroad. Ongoing professional development activities, including an increase in support of program professionals who present at regional and national conferences, will help staff envision and promote such programs.
- CUNY is in the process of organizing a CUNY-wide SEEK/CD student organization, an initiative that could potentially embrace thousands of students. By 2016, this organization will energize and mobilize SEEK and CD students who are passionate about their studies and their historic roles as members of the nation’s first higher education opportunity programs, created when local and state civil rights agendas were being enacted. Members of the organization will have the opportunity to interact with SEEK and CD students from all of CUNY’s undergraduate colleges. They will learn how to be effective leaders at their campuses and in their communities, engage in advocacy at the city and state levels, expand their social and educational networking, and discover ways to contribute to and preserve opportunity programs in CUNY and in the city and state.
- Funding for SEEK and CD is a constant issue that requires student and staff lobbying efforts as well as administrative negotiations and planning. During the next four years SEEK and CD administrators will explore external funding sources to augment present city and state funding to increase the monies available for resources and student services.
- In sum, despite the development of innovative practices in both SEEK and CD over the years, there remains a need for better services, more resources, and continued creation of initiatives aimed at improving student performance, retention, and graduation rates. Access and opportunity for a college education continue to be challenges that thousands of academically and economically disadvantaged youth experience.
CUNY 2012-2016 Master Plan