A new program unique to Long Island will allow students pursuing a two-year associate degree at Nassau Community College to also experience campus life at Adelphi University, college officials said.
Starting this fall, the Nassau-Adelphi Gateway partnership will allow up to 30 full-time NCC students to live and dine on the Adelphi campus, and an unlimited number to participate in Adelphi clubs and organizations. While all students would participate in the orientation program and in extracurriculars, those living on campus also will be allowed to access career services, campus recreation and library facilities, and be assigned a mentor.
Adelphi already is one of the major destinations for NCC graduates transferring to a four-year institution, said NCC president Jermaine Williams, noting that 20 college students, both incoming freshmen and current students, expressed interest in the Gateway program within a few days of its announcement.
"The students have the ability to experience a high-quality education at an affordable cost and also have the experience of participating in an institution they are considering transferring to," Williams said. "And, on top of that, some will have the experience of living and dining on campus."
Annual tuition for full-time NCC students is on average $5,800, compared with almost $41,000 for full-time Adelphi students, not including fees, book costs and personal expenses. Almost all Adelphi students receive financial aid.
NCC, which does not offer dorm living, would provide a shuttle to transport students to and from the Adelphi campus for classes and activities. The campuses are a few miles apart, about a 10-minute drive from each other, in Garden City.
A familiarity with the four-year college’s campus life, and social connections with Adelphi students starting in the freshman year, would ease the transition to enrollment there as a junior, Williams said, and help keep them in school.
"Some of those hiccups you’d have as a new transfer student, you are making them less likely to occur," he said. "You are ameliorating any potential transfer challenges."
Studies nationally have found that a minority of community college students successfully transfer to a four-year institution, due to financial issues, lack of guidance, or red tape in transferring credits. According to NCC spokesman Lindsey Angioletti, 64% of first-time full-time students who entered in the fall of 2013 graduated and went on to graduate from a four-year institution within six years, by fall 2019.
Public and other private institutions on Long Island offer "articulation agreements" with NCC students to clarify courses and credits that would be accepted toward a four-year degree and offer other forms of support. Hofstra University in Uniondale, for example, also allows dual applications from Nassau and Suffolk community college students, assigns them a support team early on, and hosts campus visits to ease their transfer, spokeswoman Karla Schuster said.
About 100 NCC students have expressed interest in a new joint program that guarantees admission to New York Institute of Technology, according to NYIT dean of admissions and financial aid Karen Vahey. Through the program, students are issued ID cards, can use the library, participate in various campus events, and get individualized help in maximizing credits for transfer.
But the Gateway program goes further in fostering NCC students' engagement with Adelphi's campus life by offering them the chance to participate in its extracurriculars and actually live on campus, said Kristen Capezza, Adelphi’s vice president for enrollment management and university communications. Elsewhere in New York State, SUNY Binghamton University offers dual enrollment and on-campus living opportunities to Broome County Community College students, she said.
Adelphi's room and board charges start at almost $15,000 a year, which could be included as costs in NCC students’ financial aid applications. Capezza said that filling residential spots wasn’t the main focus of Adelphi’s participation in the program, as they likely would be filled eventually by other students.
Transfers from NCC have accounted for a quarter of Adelphi’s entering fall transfer class for the last three years, Capezza said.
"The real goal is strengthening the pipeline from the community college," Capezza said. "It keeps them closely engaged with our college community and makes for a much more seamless transition.
"Nassau is our largest partner in sending us transfer students already. This is more of a student retention effort. This really tries to keep them on a four-year college path."