Chancellor Fariña Kicks Off College Access for All – Middle School

  • Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 Updated: Fri Apr 20, 2018

Starting this fall, over 150 middle schools will organize college visits and student and parent college workshops. Pilot at 22 middle schools across the City includes visits, student and parent workshops before the end of the school year

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today kicked off College Access for All – Middle School, joining a middle-school visit to a college campus through the initiative and announcing the new early college awareness support and resources that all middle schools across 10 districts will receive through the initiative next school year.

Through College Access for All – Middle School, one of the initiatives in Mayor de Blasio’s Equity and Excellence agenda, all middle school students will have the opportunity to visit a college campus by the 2018-19 school year, and there will be new student and parent workshops around high school, college, and career success. The initiative started with a pilot in 22 middle schools this year, and this fall will expand to all middle schools in Districts 5 and 6 in Manhattan; Districts 8 and 11 in the Bronx; Districts 14, 18, and 19 in Brooklyn; Districts 27 and 29 in Queens; and District 31 on Staten Island.

“Every child in New York City must have an equal opportunity to reach their full potential, and that means early exposure to college and career options,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our schools are taking a holistic and transformative approach to college and career access, and bringing every middle schooler to a college campus is the foundation of that work.”

“As we look to set high expectations for our students, we must start early, and that’s what College Access for All – Middle School is about,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This is a step towards greater and more equitable opportunity for New York City public school students. This initiative also engages parents, who need to be partners in the work of expanding students’ horizons and preparing them to make good decisions about high school, college, and careers.”

“College should be a possibility for all our kids, and I’ve seen how college visits and workshops can spark our students’ interest and motivate them to succeed,” said Denise Williams, principal of Pelham Gardens Middle School. “College Access for All – Middle School brings school communities together around setting students’ sights high, regardless of where they live or their family background.”  

This spring, in addition to college visits, the parent coordinators and guidance counselors at the 22 pilot middle schools received training and conducted parent and student workshops around college and careers. In the fall, all participating schools will receive funding to partner with community-based organizations to provide early college awareness services, and will also have access to new DOE-developed curricula and resources. The initiative will cost about $4.5 million for the 2016-17 school year. 

Over the course of the 2016-17 school year, participating schools will work with their community-based partner to create and expand a college-going culture, including by offering:

  • A college campus visit for all 7th-grade students,
  • Early college awareness workshops, which will also include information on the high school application process and its role as a first step towards college and careers
  • College-awareness parent events or workshops
  • At least one schoolwide early college awareness celebration, like a college fair or college day

In partnership with CUNY, DOE has designed campus visits specifically appropriate for middle schoolers. The visits are focused more on “what is college” rather than highlighting one campus, as most college tours for high school students do. Visits may include age-appropriate activities like scavenger hunts, panel discussions with current students, and dormitory visits, and will be led by student “Squad Leaders” specifically selected and trained to work with 7th graders.

“Through College Access for All – Middle School, we’re showing our middle-schoolers what college looks like, facilitating interactions between them and Squad Leaders with similar backgrounds, and making college feel more real and achievable. We’re pleased to partner with the DOE on this initiative, and it’s an important step forward in increasing college awareness and readiness, and ensuring students graduate high school ready to make good postsecondary decisions,” said Eric Hofmann, CUNY Director for Collaborative Programs.   

College Access for All – Middle School will expand to all middle schools in 20 school districts in the 2017-18 school year, and to all middle schools by 2018-19. 

The College Access for All – Middle School initiative will build a continuum with the new College Access for All – High School initiative, which will ensure that every New York City high school student will graduate with an individualized college and career plan by the 2018-19 school year. Together, the initiatives will work to promote a college-going culture that encourages students to consider a range of postsecondary options and gives them the support they need to thrive after high school.

The 22 pilot College Access for All middle schools are:


Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists

Archimedes Academy for Math, Science and Technology Applications

Antonia Pantoja Preparatory Academy: A College Board School

J.H.S. 144 Michelangelo

Pelham Gardens Middle School


John Ericsson Middle School 126

Conselyea Preparatory School

P.S. 66

I.S. 211 John Wilson

School of the Future Brooklyn

East New York Middle School of Excellence


I.S. M286 Renaissance Leadership Academy


New Design Middle School

P.S./I.S. 210 - 21st Century Academy for Community Leadership

M.S. 324 - Patria Mirabal


Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy VI

Hawtree Creek Middle School

I.S. 238 - Susan B. Anthony Academy

Queens United Middle School 


I.S. 051 Edwin Markham

I.S. 075 Frank D. Paulo
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