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The Office of Special Programs (OSP) is responsible for the stewardship of key CUNY-wide programs that increase, encourage and support the inclusion and educational success of underrepresented groups in higher education. These programs include the Percy Ellis Sutton Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) and College Discovery (CD) opportunity programs, the CUNY Black Male Initiative (BMI), the Single Stop College Initiative, CUNY’s TRIO programs, and the CUNY Foster Youth College Success Initiative, Youth Matter.

Our Programs

The Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK & College Discovery Program

SEEK, founded in 1965, is the higher education opportunity program at the senior (four year) CUNY colleges.  CD, founded in 1964, is at the CUNY community colleges (two year). SEEK and CD were established to provide comprehensive academic, financial, and social supports to assist capable students who otherwise might not be able to attend college due to their educational and financial circumstances.

CUNY’s TRiO Programs

The TRiO programs are federally funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support middle school through post-graduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. TRiO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention.

The Single Stop College Initiative

Single Stop provides free comprehensive social, legal and financial services to students at several CUNY colleges. In addition, The Single Stop College Initiative provides free, on-site tax preparation services during tax season (January – April); one-on-one financial counseling services throughout the year; and legal services.

Youth Matter

CUNY’s Foster Youth College Success Initiative, seeks to implement a structured support system to help foster youth in CUNY’s SEEK and CD programs.  They are provided with access to academic, social, financial and psycho-social support above and beyond the support they receive from SEEK and CD.

The CUNY Black Male Initiative

The CUNY Black Male Initiative is a University-wide student development initiative with more than 30 projects focused on increasing matriculation, retention and graduation rates of underrepresented students, particularly men of color. CUNY BMI is one expression of CUNY’s commitment to access and diversity. CUNY BMI projects are open to all academically eligible students, faculty and staff, without regard for race, gender or national origin.

Events Calendar

OSP News & Media

Opening Doors for 50 Years

The Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK Program: Opening Doors for 50 Years celebrates the 50 years of history and accomplishments of the SEEK program which opened the doors to higher education at the City University of New York to educationally and financially disadvantaged youth. Coming out of the civil rights era, SEEK gave these young people not only the opportunity to go to college but also the supportive services to be successful and enter the middle class and beyond.

African American Legends: SEEK Program

On African American Legends, Dr. Brown is joined by Cheryl Williams, Former Associate University Dean of Special Programs. They discuss CUNY’s Seek Program, renamed the “Percy E. Sutton Seek Program”, and talk about the opportunities the program provides to high school students, the history of programs like this and why the need for these programs and the services they provide are still relevant today. African-American Legends profiles prominent African-Americans in the arts, in politics, the social sciences, sports, community service, and business.

CUNY Black Male Initiative: IAMBMI

Established in 2005, the CUNY Black Male Initiative’s fundamental aim is to increase the inclusion and success of underrepresented groups, particularly men of color. The IAMBMI video emphasizes the importance of diversity recruiting and academic programming in the success of underrepresented groups in higher education. Students of the program provide testimonials expressing the impact BMI’s structured mentoring has on their educational careers and life beyond college.

Single Stop: Overcoming Poverty Toward the American Dream

How TRIO Works