To the Editor:
I am writing in response to your article on the new City University of New York community college ("City U. of New York Plans 'a Grand Experiment': a New College," The Chronicle, April 18). I applied to the Borough of Manhattan Community College not knowing how I would pay and how to navigate the college system. ASAP—the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs—provided me with the financial support that allowed me to focus on my studies without the stress of tuition bills and textbook costs. The ASAP advisement was particularly helpful with the registration process and with keeping on top of graduation requirements. I feel that the one-on-one attention from advisers was a key component in my success at the college. Students like me were able to work with their advisers in addressing any challenges affecting academic performance and in planning for their educational and career goals.
Community colleges give people a second chance at higher education. An entire community college designed with the principles of ASAP in mind will be a new, innovative addition to an already great CUNY educational system—and help many more students earn their degrees. The ASAP program is successful at seeing its students through to graduation by giving them the support of a small college in a large, public university system. Many students struggle because of financial limitations and lack of proper academic preparation. ASAP connects students with tutoring and job counseling while covering college costs to make the college experience what it should be—a place to mature personally and intellectually.
The writer is a graduate of the Borough of Manhattan Community College.