By Gina Martinez
Queensborough Community College students will now have the opportunity to transfer scholarships to St. John’s University in Jamaica Estates.
At a formal ceremony held Friday at St. John’s, St. John’s University President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw and Queensborough Community College President Diane Call were joined by staff from both institutions at a signing of the agreement that they said will create a seamless transfer process for students from Queensborough to St. John’s.
The new articulation agreement between the two schools provides nearly 20 curriculum “maps” that will guide CUNY’s Queensborough students as they plan to enter St. John’s University, a private parochial college. In addition, St. John’s will provide a $17,000 transfer scholarship to students who will study at the Queens campus and who meet specific academic requirements. The maps outline a pathway from a two-year curriculum into 21 different bachelor’s programs awarded through the Tobin College of Business, The School of Education, the College of Professional Studies, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
According to the leaders from both institutions, this new academic agreement will be “mutually beneficial “ for students and supports St. John’s strategic priorities of ensuring student success and expanding community partnerships. Call said the agreement, which went into effect after the Sept. 8 signing, will enhance access and affordability to higher education, a shared goal of both St. John’s and Queensborough.
Gempesaw said the agreement will provide students from the borough with access to a high-quality, affordable advanced education. He said the process began a few months ago when he was looking to expand partnerships with community colleges that have traditionally been sending students to St. Johns already.
“I looked at that and said I want to enrich this in a way that was still personal,” Gempesaw said. “So it was really important to establish a relationship between the leaders of the institutions as a start. I went ahead and visited Queensborough and met with them, and the rest is history.”
When asked if she had to think twice about the offer, Call said it was a no-brainer.
“St. John’s is obviously an extraordinary institution,” she said. “It’s very well-known and for us, we have so many of our faculty and staff that are graduates of St. John’s, so there was a familiarity clearly on our many levels. It was very exciting for us because we are a transfer institution and so many students are seeking opportunities for a bachelor degree, and St. John’s has always been welcoming.”
Call said this is a great opportunity to have a formal relationship because the strong academic program mirrors Queenborough’s. Thus, the transition for the students would be comfortable and natural. Call said she knew students would be in good hands at St. John’s and she hopes this will open the doors for future programs between the two schools.
“It’s been wonderful,” she said. “It’s been a tribute to the leadership at St. John’s. This is a very complex process and we got through it. We have a wonderful opportunity here and potential for future collaborations.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart