What is ECI?
Early college schools are based on the belief that all students deserve a high-quality education that adequately prepares them to achieve a college degree.
The Early College Initiative (ECI), housed within The City University of New York (CUNY) Office of K-16 Initiatives, supports 20 public schools in New York City that blend a rigorous college-prep curriculum with the opportunity to earn up to two years of college credit while in high school – at no cost to students and their families. These innovative schools make a college education more accessible, affordable and attractive to New York City students by offering programs that blur the lines between middle school, high school and college.
ECI builds upon a long record of successful partnerships between New York City public schools and the colleges within the CUNY system. Each new early college school is launched by a collaborative team of educators that often includes middle school, high school and college instructors, who together imagine and build schools that support, encourage and challenge students who all too often have trouble navigating the complicated educational landscape in New York City.
ECI provides guidance, project management, and financial resources to create and maintain early college schools in New York City. ECI staff provide technical assistance to early college schools in the evolution and maintenance of strong relationships with partner college faculty and administrators, curriculum development, staff recruitment, professional development planning, and community outreach. Further, the Early College Initiative is advocating for the local and state policies that are favorable to early college schools.
In recent years, ECI has been creating schools which are partnered with a CUNY college and an employer, enable high school students to earn a high school diploma, an associate’s degree in a growing field, and gain relevant work experience all at the same time.
Who Are We?
Director of School Supports
External Relations Manager
Charles has served as a member of the CUNY Affinity team since 2017. A former employee of the New York City Department of Education, Charles has held numerous positions including teacher of mathematics, Assistant-Principal Supervision (Mathematics), Principal, Deputy Superintendent (Brooklyn and Staten Island High Schools), Regional Superintendent and Cluster Leader, where his supervisory responsibilities spanned the K-12 continuum. Charles has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn College and the College of Staten Island. In his current role as an Instructional and Supervisory Support Specialist, Charles has served as a resource and coach to teachers of Mathematics, Assistant-Principals and Principals.
David came to the CUNY Affinity Team in 2016 after working across elementary, middle, and high school settings as a general education teacher, science teacher, department chair, curriculum coordinator, and most recently, as an instructional coach within a charter high school in District 6. As a CUNY School Support Specialist, David works within schools to support instruction and leadership. He is passionate about incorporating literacy strategies across all content areas (especially science) as well as working with schools to organize data/development cycles in order to improve student outcomes. David is also the author of two young adult novels.
Kavita joined the CUNY Affinity team as a School Support Specialist in September of 2016. With over twenty years of experience in education, she has taught middle and high school mathematics in New York City public schools, has served as a school leader in Brooklyn, and has worked with formerly incarcerated youth in her role as Senior Director of Education at The Fortune Society. In her current role, she works with teachers, Assistant Principals and Principals across a network of schools to provide both instructional and leadership support through direct coaching and professional development. In all of her roles, she has worked to accelerate student progress and achievement and to provide equitable opportunities for all students.
Shelley joined the CUNY Affinity Team as a School Support Specialist in January 2019. With over eighteen years of service in secondary public education, she has taught both middle and high school students in Texas and New York City, spending most of that time as an Instructional Coach. She worked at the district level in Texas in the Curriculum and Instruction Department, as well as coaching teachers in under-performing schools in order to increase student achievement. Over the past five years in NYC and continuing this work at CUNY Affinity, her efforts have been focused around aligning literacy practices especially in History and ELA to increase reading, writing and speaking levels.