THE BRONX ACHIEVEMENT PACT
Initiative Aims to Improve Educational Outcomes in the Bronx by Raising High School Graduation Rates, Enhancing College Readiness and Maximizing College Enrollment
Bronx Borough President and Mercy College President, Harry S Truman High School Principal today announced the launch of The Bronx Achievement Pact, an innovative new educational initiative that aims to raise high school graduation rates, enhance college readiness and maximize college enrollment.
“This innovative program has the potential to change the way we prepare our students for college not just here in the Bronx, but across the entire City,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “At my education summit last fall, I called on our education service providers to develop new, innovative ways to improve college-readiness in our borough, and I am thrilled that both Mercy College and Truman High School have answered that call with the Bronx Achievement Pact.”
By leveraging the resources of colleges and universities and collaborating with existing public high schools, the Bronx Achievement Pact is a comprehensive and scalable solution to the education crisis. Educational indicators in the Bronx are the lowest in New York City, with just 59% of Bronx students graduating from high school and only 17% considered “college ready” by the New York State Education Department. The Bronx Achievement Pact will expand opportunities for Bronx students by bridging the gap between high school and college to raise high school graduation rates, improve college readiness and increase college enrollment.
“A quality education is the critical factor in achieving economic success, personal satisfaction and social stability,” said Mercy College President Dr. Kimberly Cline. “The Bronx Achievement Pact will improve educational outcomes for Bronx students and secure a better and more prosperous future for generations of Bronx residents. We are excited to undertake this revolutionary initiative with our committed partners, and we look forward to further collaboration with additional partners as we move ahead.”
The Bronx Achievement Pact uses a comprehensive strategy that integrates successful high school and college experiences:
Early College Program: Offering students 30 hours of transferable college credits during the regular high school day, with the option of completing an additional 30 credits to earn an Associate’s degree during summers, weekends and school breaks, all at no cost to students or their parents
College and Career Exploration: Building awareness about all aspects of the college process and various career pathways
Learning Excellence: Facilitating focused tutoring and mentoring relationships between high school and college students
Summer Support: Engaging struggling students by sharpening skills in literacy, math and critical thinking and exposing them to college
Parent and Community Engagement: Providing parents with the knowledge and skills to support their children on the path to and through college
“Student success in school - both in achievement and aspiration - is largely a function of the dedication of the adults guiding the students: the teachers and the parents,” said Mercy College School of Education Dean Alfred S. Posamentier.
“The Mercy College School of Education is dedicated to producing first rate teachers and administrators for the Bronx Achievement Pact, as well as establishing a Parent Center at our Bronx campus that will serve the entire borough and should be a paradigm for the rest of the City.”
Mercy College is a partner with Harry S. Truman High School in the Bronx to pilot the Bronx Achievement Pact in September 2012. It will expand to include one additional high school in September 2013, and then will continue to expand into 2-5 schools each year until all Bronx high schools with a graduation rate below 70% can join the Bronx Achievement Pact.
“The Bronx Achievement Pact is the bridge that students need to make a successful transition from high school to college,” said Harry S Truman High School Principal, Sana Q. Nasser. “Bronx students will be fortunate enough to have the support that they need to gain acceptance into college, but also to flourish as life-long scholars. Truman High School is honored to be partnered with the Bronx Borough President and Mercy College on such a tremendous opportunity that will benefit many students.”
To support its growth over the next several decades, the Bronx Achievement Pact aims to raise $100 million in operating and endowment funds. This funding will allow the initiative to sustain and expand programming, ensuring that all students in our target schools can take advantage of the Bronx Achievement Pact.
The Borough President works with the Mayor to prepare the annual executive budget submitted to the City Council, reviews and comments on major land use projects, and proposes sites for City facilities within his jurisdiction. The Borough President also monitors the administration of City services and engages in strategic planning for the economic development of the borough. He appoints a representative to the New York City Board of Education and the New York City Planning Commission. The Borough President also appoints the members of the Community Boards and is the Chairperson of both the Borough Board and the Borough Services Cabinet. Among other distinctions, the Borough President sits on the New York City Off-Track Betting Site Selection Board, and is a trustee of the New York City Employees' Retirement System. The Borough President's Office also houses the Borough's Topographical Bureau, which is responsible for maintaining the borough's official maps, and assigning street addresses.
Founded in 1950, Mercy College is a private, not-for-profit higher education institution that offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Liberal Arts. Mercy College offers an engaging and personalized learning experience that includes the College’s revolutionary Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program. The Mercy College PACT is the first program of its kind and now serves as a nationally recognized model for mentoring. The PACT program was featured as a “Best Practice” for retention and career services by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
About Truman High School
Harry S Truman High School is committed to excellence by offering a variety of programs that build success in academics, the arts, and athletics. Truman’s administrators, faculty, and staff believe that scholastic success and extracurricular activities will prepare students to become well-rounded and productive adults beyond their high school years. While many large neighborhood schools have been replaced with smaller schools, Truman has remained intact, serving more than 2,200 students. Truman’s success is attributed to its specialized programs and academically rigorous curriculum across the content areas.
John DeSio, Office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Communications Director, 718-590-3543, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren Geloso, Mercy College, PR Senior Associate Director 914-674-7596, email@example.com
Melissa Aviles, Truman High School, 646-234-4950,