Title of the proposal
Start Here, Accelerate Anywhere!
Erwin J. Wong, Dean of Academic Programs and Instruction & Carei Thomas, Interim Director of Academic Advisement & Transfer
Erwin J. Wong
Borough of Manhattan Community College: Office of Academic Affairs
Dean for Academic Programs and Instruction
Erwin J. Wong earned a Ph.D. in English from SUNY at Stony Brook, where he specialized in the 16th century, 17th century and Modern Drama. He also received his M.A. in English from SUNY at Stony Brook, and he earned his B.A. in English from Brooklyn College. He is the Dean for Academic Programs and Instruction at Borough of Manhattan Community College. He has presented on topics such as Disaster Recovery, Mentoring, and Leadership. He has published essays on topics such as assessment, pedagogy and popular culture. Among them are the following: Creating a Culture of General Education Assessment. Assessment Update 20 (Nov.-Dec.2008): 1, 15-16. A New Approach to the Research Assignment in College Composition. Community Review 8 (1988): 39-44; The Interpretation of Literary Texts and Critical Thinking. Critical Thinking as an Educational Ideal. Montclair State College Institute for Critical Thinking: Upper Montclair, New Jersey, 1993; Of Herculean Bondage: The Literary Tradition of the James Bond Films. Esprit 4 (1989): 137-145; and The Dark Knight on Film: The Demi-God Returns. Community Review 12 (1991/92): 57-63).
Carei Thomas, is the Interim Director of Academic Advisement & Transfer at Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY. She has been at BMCC for 10 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Colby College and her MSED in Higher Education Administration from Baruch College/CUNY.
General description of the initiative or project
In summer 2015, BMCC initiated an aggressive multi-pronged plan to increase student retention, persistence and graduation through the use of technology and tuition waivers. The College used technology to reach out to the student population and to revamp its advisement model to better utilize faculty and staff resources. The City University of New York awarded BMCC over 2 million dollars to improve retention. BMCC decided that the best use of these funds would be through tuition waivers. By using Hobsons, a sophisticated communications software and the University’s student information systems, CUNYfirst and DegreeWorks, the College identified tuition waiver eligible students who:
1. needed fewer than 10 credits to graduate (Completion Waiver);
2. had one remaining developmental course (Developmental Waiver);
3. were enrolled full-time in the spring semester and had a minimum 2.5 GPA(Momentum Waiver);
4. were entering BMCC and were exempt from developmental coursework (Acceleration Waiver); or
5. needed to take a STEM course (STEM waiver).
The advanced technology and software allowed the College to reach out these students in a short, compressed amount of time. The online degree auditing software enabled the Academic Advisement & Transfer Center staff to efficiently advise and approve over 2,000 students to receive a tuition waiver over a two-week period. This initiative helped to increase the summer enrollment with almost one third of the over 8300 summer registrants receiving a tuition waiver. The pass rate for students using the tuition vouchers was an impressive 80%.