CUNY K16 initiatives logo

The City University of New York’s Office K-16 Initiatives supports the partnership between CUNY and the New York City Department of Education—the two largest education systems of their kind in the country.  As part of the University’s recently announced strategic framework, CUNY pledged to work with its partners to help ensure that a larger number of entering students are prepared, starting with early education and assisting them up to and through high school.

CUNY K-16 Initiatives creates innovative pathways for young New Yorkers to envision and achieve success by engaging strategic partners in confronting systemic educational inequities.

CUNY’s Office of K-16 Initiatives recognizes that one of the best predictors of college success is entering prepared for college-level studies. We are home to a group of innovative programs that share a common goal: helping NYC public school students make a successful transition to college, careers and life beyond. We support the city’s commitment to equity by ensuring high quality transition programs help eliminate achievement gaps between racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups. Our programs are nationally recognized for their commitment to long-term student success.

Collaboration is fundamental to our work. Only in partnership with the NYC Department of Education are we able to offer programs that support students through the transition to college.  Leadership and faculty on CUNY campuses are also integral to the process of planning and implementing programs that strategically support students in attaining their long-term goals.


College Now logo

College Now

CUNY’s largest collaborative program, enlisting 18 colleges and nearly 425 NYC public high schools in its mission to help prepare students for success in college. The program provides a variety of opportunities, including college-credit courses, college-preparatory courses and activities, experiential-based summer programs, and access to campus facilities and cultural offerings.

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Collaborative Programs Curriculum & Professional Development

While rigorous and engaging curricula provide an important foundation for our programs, we also focus on creating supportive structures for teachers and advisors. Our pre-college curricula is defined by thoughtful scaffolding and sequencing of assignments, support for the development of academic literacies and conceptual understanding, and the use of instructional strategies such as modeling and Cognitive Apprenticeship.

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The NYC Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) is the largest high school research competition in NYC and is sponsored through a partnership between the NYC Department of Education and CUNY.  NYCSEF’s mission is to celebrate and highlight the innovation of New York City’s high school scholars conducting STEM research, while inspiring enthusiasm and appreciation for scientific inquiry.

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Creative Arts Team

(CAT) is an international leader in the arts-in-education field, providing participatory drama workshops and residency programs to more than 15,000 young people, teachers, and parents each year. In addition to direct service and professional development programs, CAT promotes and disseminates its unique methodology through the M.A. in Applied Theatre, in partnership with CUNY’s School of Professional Studies.

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Early College Initiative

The Early College Initiative at CUNY develops and supports innovative public schools in New York City that provide students from a broad range of backgrounds the opportunity to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree (or up to two years of transferable college credit) at no cost to students and the their families. The schools are designed to provide this opportunity to students who have been historically underrepresented in higher education. Each of CUNY’s 17 early college schools is developed in partnership with a CUNY college, offering a coherent program of study to ensure students’ success in high school, college and beyond.

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(CUNY Preparatory Transitional High School Program) —renamed the Dr. Derrick Griffith CUNY Preparatory School in June 2015 to honor its founding principal— is a full-time, year-round academic program that provides youth between the ages of 16 and 18 with an alternative pathway to college. CUNY Prep is committed to helping students who have stopped out of traditional high schools to develop the academic, personal, and social skills necessary for success in higher education, expanded life opportunities, and active participation in community and civic affairs.

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CUNY LINCT to Success

CUNY LINCT (Lessons in Navigating College Transition) to Success is a comprehensive, school-based program designed to support student, teachers, and counselors in NYC public schools. The program goals include: supporting the deeper development of academic literacy and math skills, and providing resources for HS teachers and counselors to help students navigate the college application and matriculation process. CUNY LINCT continues to work with students who matriculate at a CUNY community college through our partnership with CUNY Strive for Success.

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CUNY Affinity Group

The CUNY Affinity Group supports a network of NYC public schools that share a commitment to preparing ALL students for success in college and/or their chosen career path. The CUNY Affinity Group fosters teacher and leader growth through convening educators from across the network to learn from and with one another. The CUNY Affinity Group offers individualized and responsive services to meet the diverse needs of each school, including instructional coaching, curriculum development support, and access to CUNY Collaborative Programs and initiatives. The Affinity Group routinely looks at common and uncommon measures of student success to assess efforts and refine the work.


CUNY Explorers

Under the Mayor’s Equity and Excellence agenda and College Access for All Initiative, the New York City Department of Education and CUNY are partnering to implement CUNY EXPLORERS to ensure that every middle-school student is exposed to a college-going culture and has the opportunity to visit a college campus at least once in grades six through eight to promote high school, college and life success. CUNY sees middle school as the foundation for success in high school, college and career.


CUNY Tutor Corps

The CUNY Tutor Corps in Math and Computer Science brings students from CUNY colleges into middle and high school classrooms, helping them become highly effective tutors and teaching assistants in the mathematics and computer science classrooms of 180 schools by 2020.  The Tutor Corps is a partnership between CUNY, the Office of the Mayor, New York City Department of Education (DOE), and others.

PERC logo (Peer Enabled Restructured Program)


In select New York City public high schools CUNY employs the Peer Enabled Restructured Classroom (PERC) model of instruction. Through this model, 9th grade PERC students in STEM courses work in small groups with Teaching Assistant Scholars (TAS) leading their instruction. TASs are 10th grade students who passed the STEM course during the previous year, but either did not pass their Regents exam or meet proficiency. Under a teacher’s guidance, TASs teach science or math course material to small groups of approximately five students. Through peer education, PERC improves student academic performance in STEM courses and graduation rates for both PERC students and TASs.