The City University of New York is committed to collaboration with the New York City Department of Education to prepare all students for success in college and their chosen career path. Housed within CUNY’s Office of K-16 Initiatives, CUNY Affinity Group was established to support and nurture a group of over 20 schools that share a commitment to preparing all students for success in college and beyond.
The CUNY Affinity Group believes that we are stronger when we learn with and from each other. Our planning is guided by research and experience. It is informed by observation, data examination and candid feedback from our community of schools. Our mission is driven by a belief in the potential of all students, teachers and school leaders. The student experience is greatly enhanced and enriched through collaboration with the Superintendent, the Affinity Field Support Center and by a broad range of CUNY supports and services available to our schools.
Our theory of action is based on the belief that distributed facilitative leadership is a necessary requirement to build and sustain professional learning communities. We believe the most effective way to build a professional community is to ensure that facilitative leaderships skills and habits are widely distributed and practiced within our schools. Research tells us that there is a direct relationship between strong professional learning community and increased student achievement.
Our approach can be seen as two-pronged:
Collaborative Professional Learning
In addition to one-on-one coaching and support, the CUNY Affinity Group fosters teacher, leader and principal growth largely through the development of professional learning communities within and among our schools. We bring people together for collaborative learning and in the process help participants develop their capacity to lead professional learning in their schools.
School Based Support
We are present in schools to reinforce, coach, problem solve, model and support leaders at all levels. Our work in collaborative sessions permits us to reinforce relationships and strengthen trust outside the school setting, making our school-based time more impactful.