Back to School at CCNY

It's never too late to finish your degree

If you’ve always dreamed of completing your Bachelor’s degree, but don’t know how to restart the process, then we want to help. At the City College of New York (CCNY), we take great pride in our more than 175-year history of providing academic access and excellence. Every year we assist approximately 16,000 students in achieving their goals and we would like you to be a part of our vibrant community. Click on the tabs below to find out how we can assist you.

Understanding Your Situation

Getting to know why you left

Gaining an understanding of the reason(s) why you left school is the first step in our process. Often times it is a result of one or more of the following:

  • Financial Constraints
  • Poor Academic Performance
  • Attending a college or program that was not the right “fit”
  • An adverse campus experience
  • Having to take care of a loved one
  • Physical Ailment

Examining your current situation

You may feel that it is impossible to return to school with all of your current responsibilities, or you may have certain worries or fears about returning. Are any of these concerns preventing you from completing your degree?

  • I don’t have time to go back to school
  • I can’t afford to go back to school
  • I won’t be able to keep up in the classroom
  • I won’t be comfortable being the oldest student in the classroom
  • I’m not familiar with all of the new educational technology
  • I think it might be too late for me to go back

We want to show you that with the right guidance and plan, it is not only possible to return to school, it is much easier than you think.

Supporting Your Success

You're not on your own

CCNY has many resources to support your success. Whether it's access to technology, academic journals, mental health counseling, or a more convenient course schedule, you can count on an empathetic campus community to help you to the finish line. We want to encourage you to achieve your goals no matter how many hurdles you face. Take a few moments to discover some of the many areas of support that we have to offer.

  • The Center for Worker Education - Also known as CWE, the Center for Worker Education provides a convenient class schedule for adults working full-time, a central city location near Wall St., and the opportunity to earn life experience college credit.
  • Health and Wellness Services - Mental Health Counseling, Student Health and Disability Services, and Gender Resources are only a few of the many areas of support you'll find under the Health and Wellness Services umbrella.
  • Office of Veterans Affairs - Serving your country shouldn't keep you from finishing your degree. Our very dedicated staff in the Office of Veterans Affairs ensures that all the brave men and women who are serving, or have served, in the military have access to their military educational benefits and are able to acclimate to the civilian academic environment.
  • Tutoring Services - If you need help catching up in any of your courses then be sure to visit any one of these centers for assistance.
  • Library Resources - Borrow books from across the entire university, access myriad academic journals, get research assistance from highly skilled and experienced librarians, or find a quiet place to study.
  • Office of Information Technology - E-mail accounts, campus-wide wireless internet, academic technology support, free printing, and a plethora of computer labs - including a 300 workstation TECH Center with student training and media study rooms - are all accessible to you as a CCNY student. 

Guiding Your Return

A dedicated person to get you started

Despite all of the information we have compiled for you on our website, we know how important it is for you to speak with someone when you’re taking that first step. Our Senior Admissions Counselor, Ms. Gail Fong, is ready to hear from you. Just let her know that you're interested in our Back to School initiative. 

Gail Fong
Senior Admissions Counselor

Inspirational Student Stories

John Kopyta

BA, Interdisciplinary Arts and Science
Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education

"It's been a great experience. Without CWE it would have been very difficult to go back to school - it's a great service that City College provides." 

He's a 55-year-old former Marine, 6-foot-four and graduating from the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education (CWE) with a 4.0 GPA. If that doesn't sounds compelling enough, there's more to John Kopyta's interesting life story that's about to take a new path, thanks to CWE.

The New Jersey native joined the Marine Corps in his teens, serving four years as a C-130 aircraft electrician at El Toro in California and in Okinawa. Honorably discharged in 1985, Kopyta enrolled in the University of South Florida. He left as a sophomore and worked in construction for the next 20 years before what he calls "the Recession" hit in 2008. Unemployed, he moved to New York and was hired stacking shelves in a grocery store. The loss of that job found him homeless and despondent.

Kopyta spent 11 months in the New York shelter system, but one shelter run by The Doe Fund gave him a fighting chance. He completed their program "Ready, Willing, and Able," and was hired as an education and occupational training associate. Enter CCNY's CWE, whose mission is to provide an excellent education to working adults. "The Doe Fund" encouraged me to finish my education and the courses and times at CWE fit perfectly with my work schedule for adult students," said Kopyta. "It's been a great experience. Without CWE it would have been very difficult to go back to school - it's a great service that City College provides." 

His degree opens up a pathway to law school. He plans a career in either legal aid or as an environmental lawyer. Kopyta's awards include induction into Alpha Sigma Lambda and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies. He's also received recognition from Assemblymember Jaime Williams and Governor Cuomo for his community service.

Fatimah Barrie

BA, Political Science
Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

BA, Black Studies
Division of Humanities and the Arts

"I can recall the days former teachers told me I wouldn't amount to much because of lack of interest, yet those doubts are what led me on this path to excellence."

After graduating with her associate's degree from Borough of Manhattan Community College, Harlem native Fatimah Barrie worked for five years to ensure she could pay for her bachelor's degree at the City College of New York. Her hard work and determination propelled her to the top - graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.9 GPA.

The Political Science and Black Studies double major attributes her success to her single mother for inspiring her throughout her college journey. "My mom has been a driving force pushing me and propelling me forward - she has her master's degree from Fordham University in social work," said Barrie.

Barrie was elected to the E-Board of The Roosevelt Institute at the City College of New York in 2017 as their secretary and has been involved in numerous clubs including The National Council of Negro Women, the CCNY Outdoors Club, and the Debate Team. She serves as a mentor for young girls of color residing in East Harlem and created a track and field team for an after school program at P.S 106 in collaboration with the New York Road Runners: Mighty Milers Program.

I've been granted the opportunity to be part of illustrious cohorts on campus such as The Student Empowerment Engagement Development Series (S.E.E.D.S.) and the 100 Black Women: Role Model Program," said the recent inductee of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. "I can recall the days former teachers told me I would not amount to much because of lack of interest, yet those doubts are what led me on this path to excellence."

After graduating, Barrie plans to take a year off to study for the LSATs while interning at a law firm or as a legal assistant. Her passion for teaching, civil rights law and education reform will help her make Black and ethnic studies a mandatory requirement for high school students before going on to college.

Last Updated: 04/21/2022 15:30