Our Work

In 2016, under the Mayor’s College Access for All, CUNY Explorers was launched as a partnership between CUNY’s Office of K-16 Initiatives and New York City Public Schools. CUNY Explorers began as an opportunity to expose every 7th grade student to a college-going culture and to give them the chance to visit a college campus at least once. Since then, CUNY Explorers has expanded to provide campus experiences to all middle schoolers and, as of 2021, high school workshops for 9th and 10th graders. The driving message of CUNY Explorers has stayed the same: every student CAN go to college, every student can AFFORD college, and students and their families can take steps NOW to become college-ready.

Why CUNY Explorers?

Early college readiness programs like CUNY Explorers set the foundation for success in high school, college, and beyond. By supporting students to develop a college identity at a critical developmental age and providing a campus experience that promotes a college-going mindset, students and families internalize the message that college is a necessary and achievable goal.

Program Model

Visit Activities

Dental hygiene demonstration and tour of a patient care clinic at City Tech

Extraction of DNA from a strawberry at Queensborough Community College

Nautical knot-tying and a tour of an engine room with Kingsborough Community College’s Maritime Technology program

Flight simulation demonstration and a tour of the Robotics Room with the Aviation Institute at York College

Program Reach


In the 2021-2022 academic year, CUNY Explorers provided interactive and engaging virtual campus experiences for over 34,000 students across 13 CUNY campuses.


In 2022, CUNY Explorers hosted its first ever summer program serving over 1,100 students throughout NYC. Our summer program saw the return to in-person visits since the start of the pandemic as campuses offered remote and in-person opportunities.


Schools in District 75, District 79, and those with high numbers of English Language Learners are provided tailored support through partnerships with campus accessibility and resource offices.

See Us In Action