CUNY SPS Receives 2019 CAEL Adult Learner Impact Award

CUNY SPS advisor speaking with a student at her desk.

August 28, 2019 - New York, NY - The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is proud to announce that it has been selected by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) to receive their 2019 Adult Learner Impact Award, an annual honor that recognizes member institutions that have shown an outstanding commitment to the expansion, access, and quality of lifelong learning opportunities and academic programs for adult learners.

Since its inception, CUNY SPS has worked arduously to accommodate the diverse needs of working adults, a population that is typically underserved in the higher education arena. By offering a majority of its degree and certificate programs online, CUNY SPS provides its students with more flexibility to continue their education while maintaining their work schedules and personal obligations. Additionally, the resources and student-centered support systems available at CUNY SPS, such as career and tutoring services, advisement, counseling, disability and veteran services, as well as zero-cost textbook courses, are all geared to remove roadblocks to returning to and graduating from college.

In the fall of 2014, CUNY SPS began offering credit for prior learning opportunities to its undergraduate students with the assistance of CAEL. This initiative, guided by the expertise of Dr. Jennifer Sparrow, associate dean of academic affairs, makes it possible for students to earn up to 90 credits for previous education, work experience, and learning conducted outside of the classroom. In the 2018-2019 academic year alone, 232 students earned a total of 1,222 credits through experiential learning, which inevitably lessens the amount of time and money spent towards earning a bachelor’s degree.

“Our partnership with CAEL has been a catalyst for launching a robust Credit for Prior Learning program and other services and programs designed for adult degree-completers,” says Dr. Sparrow. “It’s an honor to have our School’s work recognized by this highly-regarded institution, and we are delighted to be this year’s Adult Learner Impact Award recipient.”

As CUNY SPS continues to evolve and grow, so too does the options it provides to improve the overall student experience. Over the past year, the School has enhanced its responsiveness to matters concerning financial aid and scholarships; introduced Test Flight, an online learning simulation for prospective students, and launched Jump Start, a performance-based admissions process designed for returning adult learners for whom work performance may be a better measure of college readiness than past academic performance.

The CAEL Adult Learner Impact Award (previously known as the Institutional Service Award) was inaugurated in 1984. CUNY SPS joins the likes of Pace University, Regis University, and Metropolitan State College in receiving this prestigious accolade.

About the CUNY School of Professional Studies

Home to the first fully online degree programs at the City University of New York, the CUNY School of Professional Studies provides online and on campus programs that meet the needs of adults who are looking to finish a bachelor’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, advance in the workplace, or change careers.

Affirming our role as a leader in online education, CUNY SPS was ranked in the top 5% of U.S. News & World Report’s list of the 2019 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs, making CUNY SPS the highest nationally listed program in New York City.

Press Contact:

Andrea Fagon