QUEENS, NY, February 25, 2017 – Recognizing the importance of fostering an educational environment that assures timely student success, Queens College has developed “QC in 4,” a voluntary graduation plan that will be available this fall. When incoming freshmen commit to QC in 4, they are guaranteed graduation in four years. This program is the only one of its kind in New York City.
“Research shows that if students enroll in and earn 15 credits per semester, it is highly likely that they will earn a degree without loads of education-related debt,” said John B. King Jr, incoming president and CEO of The Education Trust, a former U.S. Secretary of Education and New York State Commissioner of Education. “We applaud Queens College for its ‘QC in 4’ program. As a participating institution in Ed Trust’s OASIS (Optimizing Academic Success and Institutional Strategy) initiative, we look forward to sharing this best practice from Queens College with other members of our network.
“One of the reasons that the dream of a college education as a path to the middle class is eroding is the skyrocketing price of tuition students across the country have to pay each year,” Dr. King observed. “Burdens fall particularly heavy on students from low-income families who have to find a way to finance roughly 76 percent of their family income to pay their way through college.”
Educated in New York City public schools, Dr. King first served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education under President Obama before assuming the title of Secretary of Education. Prior, he was the New York State Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York, which comprises all elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities in the state, both public and private.
Students who earn their undergraduate degrees in four years reap advantages such as ending their tuition bills and jump-starting their professional careers or entry into graduate school. As Dr. King pointed out, they also avoid the accumulation of education-related debt. Nearly nine out of ten Queens College students who graduated in four years had no debt.
“We’re very proud of our talented, hard-working and ambitious students,” says Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, who recently announced new findings by the Equality in Opportunity Project. “Queens College was ranked in the top 1 percent of all colleges that move students from the bottom fifth of income distribution to the top fifth,” he said. “We know our graduates lose no time in achieving success, and so we expect that a great number of our incoming freshmen will want to take advantage of this opportunity to graduate in four years.”
QC in 4 is built on mutual agreements. Students who commit to the four-year plan agree to earn 30 credits a year and to enroll in at least 15 semester credit hours beginning with the Fall 2017 semester. Students are expected to enroll without interruption each fall and spring semester for all four years. The college also offers students the option of attending class during winter intersession and two available summer sessions, applying those credits toward the minimum needed each semester for their majors.
In turn, Queens College makes its own solid commitment: guarantee of graduation in four years. Developed by academic experts in the Provost’s office to best meet student needs and ensure their success, QC in 4 offers students critical tools, resources and support throughout their time at QC. This includes providing a four-year “academic map” for eligible majors; academic advising during enrollment for new students and before registration each subsequent semester; ensuring the availability of courses or their equivalent to enable students to complete their 2017 Freshman Four-Year Graduation Plan; providing such tools as an academic planner and online degree audit to help students monitor their degree progress; and providing students with an annual evaluation of their degree progress, identifying whatever steps may be needed to assure successful completion of their four-year graduation plan.
“This program is awesome,” says Japneet Singh, the college’s Student Association president. Singh, who graduated in 4 ½ years and is now a Master’s student in Accounting at QC, remarked, “Having a threshold of 30 credits to meet and advisors to keep you on track is a big help. And graduating in four years means you get to explore the next level of opportunity at a quicker pace—that’s a great advantage.”
About Queens College
Queens College graduates the most teachers, counselors, and principals in the metropolitan area. It also contributes to the city’s talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more undergraduate computer science majors than any New York City college and the third largest number of accounting and business students in all of New York State.
As part of a well-rounded liberal arts education, students have the opportunity to study at the Aaron Copland School of Music. One of the college’s oldest and most distinguished programs, its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized—some Grammy Award-winning—composers, conductors and performers.
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its nearly 19,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, as well as being ranked a U.S. News and World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit our homepage to learn more.