CSI to get share of Governor Cuomo’s CUNY 2020 awards

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $55 million in state funds for the CUNY 2020 program. The College of Staten Island will get a share of the funding. (Associated Press)

STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE — The College of Staten Island will get a share of $55 million allocated in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s CUNY 2020 program.

The funds are given to foster eight innovative projects on 20 City University campuses, designed to connect academics with economic development. Programs funded are supposed to support the training and creation of more than 3,800 jobs by 2020.

“The CUNY 2020 program is designed to connect the innovative academic programs offered by New York City’s public universities to local economic development,” Cuomo said in a statement announcing the program.

“In today’s economy, universities are not just classrooms and research facilities; they support thousands of local jobs and are often the to economic driver in local communities. With these awards, the state is pleased to provide funding that will help CUNY continue to offer a world-class education to hundreds of thousands of students, while also supporting new jobs and investment in the surrounding communities,” the governor said.

Included in the $55 million is a $15 million grant for a CUNY consortium on data, analysis and technology. CSI will work cooperatively with the CUNY Graduate Center, the CUNY School of Professional Studies, City College, New York City College of Technology, and Manhattan Community College on establishing and expanding a project called the “CUNY Center for Big Data Consortium.”

In his report to the College Council, CSI President Dr. Wiliam Fritz said the CUNY 2020 grant would be used to develop the college’s high-performance computing center, along with its School of Business.

“CUNY 2020 will provide training for graduate students and business professionals to meet the current industry demand for big data analysts in the public and private sectors,” Fritz said.

“Over a five-year period the CUNY Consortium project activities will yield an economic impact of approximately $26 million in wages, and $8.7 million in tax revenue,” he said.

The CUNY 2020 funding is in addition to the $10 million Staten Island lawmakers secured in April for CSI’s computer project from the $138 billion state budget.

Also included in the $55 million from CUNY 2020 is a $9 million grant for a CUNY consortium to develop new sources of energy and fuel products.
In this initiative, CSI will work cooperatively with City College, Bronx Community College, and CUNY School of Public Health “to renovate existing space to create a hub for transportation technology, sustainable fuel and product development for CUNY’s automotive technology program.”

According to the proposal, students in the program would be able to study use of renewable fuels, hybrid vehicle use, air quality and traffic patterns of electric vehicles on the roads.

Read the Governor’s press release>

This article was written by Diane Lore and first appeared in the Staten Island Advance and on SILive.com on July 28, 2014.  It is reprinted here with permission. All rights reserved.

TIME Magazine Ranks CSI 48th in Country

Top U.S. colleges and universities were ranked in a TIME Magazine article that stemmed from a White House proposal to assess how well colleges and universities serve their students. To see how well the proposal would work, TIME used numbers from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

The College of Staten Island (CSI) ranks 48th out of 2,500 institutions of higher learning in the country when the interactive ratings are set to their default importance of equally weighting graduation rates, tuition, and the percentage of students who receive Pell Grants.  If affordability is of primary importance, CSI tops out as 22nd in the United States in TIME’s interactive rankings.

This is the fifth prestigious national ranking for CSI in the last three years.

Dr. William J. Fritz, recently named president of CSI after serving for the past two years as interim president, and the previous five as provost, feels the ranking algorithms are finally leveling the playing field for institutions such as CSI and The City University of New York (CUNY), where access and affordability dovetail with a world-class education and unparalleled opportunities.

“The continued national recognition for the high-quality education at the College of Staten Island is long overdue, and we are proud to be included in TIME magazine’s list of top colleges and universities in the country,” Fritz said. “Our many national distinctions are made possible by the tireless work and dedicated efforts of our faculty, staff and outstanding students, and are a source of great pride for all members of our college and Island community.”

CSI was named for the first time last year as one of “America’s Best Colleges” in the North by U.S. News & World Report; while Washington Monthly magazine recently named CSI one of “America’s Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges.” Business Insider, the leading business and technology news website, named CSI to its list of top schools in the country with great academics and high acceptance rates that challenge the myth that a college is necessarily better if it is more difficult to gain entrance, criteria which mirror CUNY’s mission. Only one school per state was chosen, with CSI representing New York. The College is also consistently listed in the top 15% of “Military-Friendly” schools in the country by G.I. Jobs magazine.

Each of the 2,500 colleges and universities were evaluated according to its six-year graduation rate, the percentage of full-time, first-time undergraduates receiving Pell grants, and the net cost for students receiving any form of aid whose families make less than $110,000 a year.

The TIME magazine article and interactive rankings regarding graduation rate, accessibility and affordability can be found online at “Obama Thinks He Can Rate Colleges. Can You Do Better?

CSI Represents NY in Nationwide State Rankings

Business Insider, a global leader in aggregating, reporting, and analyzing the top news stories across the Web, teamed with the academic ranking and review service Niche, to compile a list of the country’s “most underrated colleges.”

“Oftentimes, these schools’ strong academic programs are overshadowed by the popular perception that a college is better if it’s tough to get into,” Business Insider reports, adding “these colleges challenge that myth, and are smart — and potentially safe — options for student applicants.”

The College of Staten Island (CSI), a senior college of The City University of New York (CUNY), was the only college chosen in New York State, one of 50 nationwide, to be included in the rankings.  It is the third national ranking for CSI in as many years.

Other prominent schools named to the list includes: University of North Carolina, University of Pittsburgh, University of Maryland, West Virginia University, American University, University of Connecticut, University of Delaware, Washington State University, University of Montana, Seton Hall University, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and University of North Georgia.

“This article suggests that all students, even ones with the highest entrance scores and most impressive applicant portfolios, should consider attending one of these institutions,” notes Dr. William J. Fritz, Interim President at CSI, adding “I am familiar with all of the other 49 institutions on the list, and we have been placed with some very prestigious company.”

Read the full article at businessinsider.com>

Business Insider and Niche have developed a new ranking model that levels the playing field for public college’s such as CSI,” Dr. Fritz states, “taking into account the breadth of opportunities available and the commitment to the students of our community.”

CSI, home to nearly 15,000 students, was named for the first time as one of America’s Best Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report in 2013, and one of “America’s Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges” by Washington Monthly magazine in 2012.

“Recognition leads to confidence by others in our academic mission, which translates into the confidence to invest in resources for faculty and students,” Dr. Fritz concluded.

The rising national profile of CSI is well-timed as the College recently launched the $20 million “Campaign for CSI: For College and Community” to raise much-need funds for faculty support, student support, capital and construction projects, and increasing the College’s endowment.

Business Insider was launched in July 2007 by DoubleClick founders Dwight Merriman and Kevin Ryan, and former top-ranked Wall Street analyst Henry Blodget. In 2013, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos invested $5 million in the “leading online business news site for the digital age.”

CSI Ranked Top Military-Friendly School in the Country

G.I. Jobs magazine named the College of Staten Island a Top Military-Friendly School in the country based upon the college’s commitment to serving the needs of students with military experience and its wide array of services designed for student veterans.

This is the fifth year in a row in which CSI was ranked in the top 20 percent of military-friendly colleges, universities, and trade schools in the nation.

Student veterans who enroll at CSI can take full advantage of the services and programs offered by the Veterans Educational Transition Services (VETS), located in the Office of the Registrar, and Veteran’s Support Services (VSS), located in the Campus Center, to facilitate a smooth transition from military to student life for veterans and their families. VETS and VSS provide a strong support system and offer centralized, “vet-friendly” services on campus.

“Vets attending CSI can take advantage of many of our services that aim to fit the specific needs of a military veteran,” said Ann Treadaway, VSS Director. She went on to discuss how CSI and her staff are well equipped to understand and help veterans who attend CSI. “I am a combat veteran myself as is most of my staff. We understand what our veteran students are going through and what they will need to succeed.”

What makes CSI such a military friendly school is not only the knowledgeable and sympathetic staff, but it also honors and cares for veterans while they are on campus. CSI offers the most transferred college credits to veterans than any other school—up to 90 depending on the student’s military training.

Beyond the credits, all incoming veterans and dependents are offered CORE100, a General Education course that satisfies a requirement as well as creates a learning community to assist in their transition. The course provides a platform for veterans to speak out about their experiences while discussing U.S. government, history and economics.

Mrs. Treadaway’s office offers free tutoring for all student veterans and their dependents as well as the ‘vet to vet’ mentoring program, a program that takes advantage of the experiences that vets may have shared to make incoming vets feel more at home. VSS offers numerous services and resources for student veterans and their dependents from translating their military jobs into civilian terms on resumes to helping them navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain the benefits they have earned.

“We also offer job training and internships,” added Mrs. Treadaway. “Our goal is to have the transition be as smooth as possible.”

Mrs. Treadaway also offered many other little known statistics, underscoring the importance of ensuring CSI remains vet friendly. “Vets are more likely to have a high school diploma but are less likely to have a college degree than the general population,” she began.

“The veteran unemployment rate is also higher than the national average.  CSI is in unique position to help veterans, a population that has doubled on the campus over the last three years and looks to increase even more as New York City is expecting about 6,000 returning vets in the upcoming year,” Mrs. Treadaway added, emphasizing that CSI has done much to “take care of our vets after they have sacrificed so much.”

The CSI VSS and VETS sponsor a number of events each semester. For information about such events, visit http://www.csi.cuny.edu/vets/.

US News & World Report names CSI Best College

The College of Staten Island was included in the 2014 US News & World Report Best Colleges issue for the first time in the college’s 58 year history.

In the Regional Universities (North) category, CSI was ranked 44th among Top Public Schools and 135th in the overall Best Colleges category.  CSI’s national ranking for Nursing is 295 (2011), and Physical Therapy, 172 (2012).

Anita Narayan, Education Editor with US News & World Report states “we offer reliable and consistent data on nearly 1,800 schools to allow [parents and students] to compare them.”

For more information visit usnew.com>

“Washington Monthly” Names CSI one of America’s Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges

"Washington Monthly" has named CSI to its list of the nation's Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges.

Washington Monthly, which publishes an annual rating of colleges throughout the U.S., has recently named the College of Staten Island as one of America’s Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges. The article appears in the magazine’s September-October 2012 issue.

Providing some background for its ranking system, Washington Monthly notes that, in its opinion, other college rankings are often flawed because they tend to measure the level of prestige that institutions have, as opposed to how well they are serving their students. The article further notes that some of the higher-ranking colleges in other lists have often taken the focus off of traditional students in favor of higher-caliber recruits through an increase in admissions standards.

“We are proud that Washington Monthly has recognized the value of the high-quality education offered at the College of Staten Island,” said Dr. William J. Fritz, interim president of CSI. “This national honor is indicative of our renowned faculty, establishment of new national honor societies, construction of world-class residence halls, and the distinction of being ranked as a top military-friendly institution. The CSI community should indeed be proud of this tremendous achievement.”

In regard to these policies, the article explains, “The Washington Monthly has long believed that such behavior by colleges doesn’t serve the broader interests of the country, and that rewarding such behavior is wrong. And so the magazine designed its own ranking system to do the opposite: to rate colleges based on how well they perform with the students they have, regardless of the students’ backgrounds or SAT scores, on metrics that measure the widely shared national goals of increasing social mobility, producing research, and inspiring public service.”

As Washington Monthly ranked U.S. colleges this year, it took another aspect into account—“cost-effectiveness.” Using a measure called “cost-adjusted graduation rate,” which involves, according to the article, “the gap between the predicted and actual graduation rate of a school…divided… by the net price of attending that institution,” the magazine compiled a list of institutions that represented a good investment from the students’ perspective and CSI made the list.

The article notes that “As an urban, commuter institution, the College of Staten Island attracts a diverse group of students from the New York City metro area. Because of the difficulty in retaining commuter students, the college offers many programs to enrich students’ academic lives and provide incentives for them to stay invested in finishing their degree.” The article mentioned the SEEK program, designed for students who have the potential to succeed in college, but would benefit from enhanced academic support and financial assistance, and the three honors programs available to high-achieving students as examples of some of the exceptional value available to students at the College.

Commenting on CSI’s inclusion in this prestigious list, CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson said, “It comes as no surprise that the high-quality academic programs and services available at CSI are widely perceived to be of great value, especially during these difficult economic times. Students and their families are very fortunate to have this jewel of a CUNY college in the crown of Staten Island.”

Read the full article online at WashingtonMonthly.com


CSI Named Top Military-Friendly School

G.I. Jobs has, once again, placed CSI on its Military Friendly Schools list.

G.I. Jobs announced the release of its 2012 list of “Military Friendly Schools,” which honors the top 20 percent military-friendly colleges, universities, and trade schools in the nation.    

The College of Staten Island, a senior college of The City University of New York, was recognized for its commitment to serving the needs of students with military experience and its wide array of services specifically designed for current, new, and future veteran students. 

“I am very pleased that CSI has been honored by being named a military-friendly school,” commented Donna Scimeca, the Core Program Coordinator at CSI. “This is in no small part due to the efforts of Vito Zajda, Rose Meyers, and Urszula Echols, who have worked so hard to make CSI a welcoming place for returning veterans.”  

Vito Zajda, Deputy Registrar at CSI said, “The collaborative efforts of the Veterans Educational Transition Services, (VETS) located in the Office of the Registrar, and the Student Veteran Center, located in the Campus Center, facilitate a smooth transition from military to student life for veterans and their families by providing a strong support system and centralized “vet-friendly” services on campus. Both offices offer unique services in providing a “one-stop” approach, from the admissions process to graduation.” 

Other services that the VETS office provides include résumé writing, career placement, academic advisement, education and financial aid benefits. 

Zajda, who is also the Veterans Advisor Certifying Officer and a Transfer Evaluation Specialist, adds that CSI is “anticipating and enrollment of 237 registered veterans for the Fall 2011 semester.”   

These students also have the resources of the CSI Student Veteran Center, which are available online. Services include “disability services, mental health services, academic support, academic and personal counseling, career and scholarship, college testing, and other community resources,” said Zajda. 

CSI offers a general education course that is restricted to all incoming veterans called Core 100, which is specifically designed for veterans.  The course provides a platform for veterans to speak out about their experiences. “This uniquely distinguished section…focuses on the impact of the U.S. military and its role in defining specific periods in U.S. history. We will pay close attention to the formation of each of the five military branches and their specific roles/strategies in major U.S. movements, wars, and struggles,” commented Zajda, who teaches a section of Core 100.“Veterans need a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated. The ‘Military Friendly Schools’ list is that trusted friend,” said Rich McCormack, G.I. Jobs publisher.

The list was compiled through years of exhaustive research and a recent survey of more than 8,000 schools polled nationwide.  Methodology, criteria, and weighting for the list were developed by the Military Friendly Schools Academic Advisory Panel. 

A detailed list of “Military Friendly Schools” is currently being highlighted in the Guide to Military Friendly SchoolsTheir Website contains interactive tools and search functionality to assist military veterans in choosing schools that best meet their educational needs.