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June 19, 2006

CWE PARTNERS WITH NYC PARKS DEPARTMENT TO HOST “BACK-TO-COLLEGE” WORKSHOPS FOR PARKS EMPLOYEES

NEW YORK, June 19, 2006 – The City College Center for Worker Education (CWE) has established a partnership with the NYC Parks Department to promote educational opportunity for Parks Department employees.  This type of collaboration is a first for CWE with a city agency, according to CWE Dean Daniel E. Lemons.

“The Parks department is very interested in helping employees advance their education,” stated Dean Lemons, who made a presentation about CWE to the Parks Commissioner Adrian Beneppe and his cabinet in March. “They invited us to tell them about our program and suggest ways to help them do that.  Out of that came a specific plan to publicize their program with Parks employees and to conduct workshops at a number of locations.”

The first workshop was held recently at Arsenal West.  “The Parks staff who attended the workshop we held at Arsenal West fit the student profile that CWE best serves: people from all walks of life who want to earn their college degrees but need the guidance, the schedule, the convenience of a program tailored to the needs of working adults,” stated CWE senior counselor Judy Hilkey, who is also in charge of recruitment efforts at The Center.  “They are motivated; they will make great students.”

Roberto Barreto, recreation supervisor of the NYC Parks Department, was among the 22 Parks staffers who spent nearly two hours with four academic advisors discussing CWE’s degree programs and having his questions answered.  “The information was great and informative,” said Barreto, who is in the process of applying for fall admission to The Center.  “They addressed all the questions we had about financial aid and academic workloads.”

As an incentive to attend, the Parks Department provided release time for all interested staffers.

“For me personally, I felt I came away that these people are here for our benefit and they will do everything in their means to help us with our goals and what we what to accomplish,” he added. “It was an easy decision to read the information, log onto the website and shape decision to schedule an appointment to prepare myself to come back to school.”

While the collaboration with the Parks Department and CWE was the first such program involving the school and a city agency, CWE has similar types of relationships with federal workers and various unions,” according to Dean Lemons.

The Parks Department and CWE plan another joint effort soon. CWE has applied for a grant from the Borough of Manhattan President’s office to offer four public back-to-college information sessions for working adults in different Manhattan neighborhoods.  The NYC Parks Department has agreed to host these events in the Parks Department Recreation Centers.

About the Center for Worker Education

The Center for Worker Education (CWE), headquartered in Lower Manhattan, is a division of The City College of New York’s (CCNY) College of Liberal Arts & Science.  Founded in 1981, it has become one of the leading working adult educational institutions in New York City.  CWE offers an excellent interdisciplinary B.A. degree in Liberal Arts with a number of special concentrations and a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education.  It attracts over 750 working professionals per semester and reflects the multi-ethnic composition of New York City.

About The City College of New York

For over 158 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 12,200 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the Grove School of Engineering, the Center for Worker Education and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.

CWE Contact Information

Elena Romero, Communications Coordinator, CWE, (212) 925-6625 x 258, eromero@ccny.cuny.edu.
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