The Baruch Business Academy Creates a New Pipeline for CUNY Students
Launched last fall, the Baruch Business Academy was designed to create a more seamless transition to Baruch for students from partner CUNY community colleges. But as administrators have noted, it’s about more than just easing students into life at Baruch—it’s about making sure they know they belong.
“It’s important that these students see their place here at Baruch, in terms of both academics and their careers, but also by establishing peer-to-peer relationships early on,” said Kannan Mohan, PhD, associate dean for academic initiatives and innovation at Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business. “Students at community college don’t always see their spot at Baruch as viable. We want to break that cycle and foster a sense of belonging so that they feel connected to Baruch even before they arrive.”
The academy, made possible through donations from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation and Dennis Gilbert, is open to first- and second-semester students at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, LaGuardia Community College, and Queensborough Community College. The program is further enhanced by a network of peers, current Baruch business students who provide mentorship, guidance, and encouragement for community college students as they take the necessary steps to matriculate at Baruch.
As the Zicklin School evaluated its programs, it became clear that there was a disparity in representation of Black and Latino students between these community colleges, where populations are high, and Baruch. This new initiative is an effort to bridge that gap, said Dr. Mohan, providing enhanced support for historically underrepresented groups. “Our efforts are geared towards supporting students to get them to a level playing field,” he said. “If we set the stage right, all of these students can succeed at the same rate.”