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John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Identifying Strong Transfer Pathways

A Case Study of John Jay's CUNY Justice Academy Program

About John Jay College and the CUNY Justice Academy

John Jay College of Criminal Justice holds the distinction of being the CUNY college that graduates the highest percentage of transfer students of color—43 percent compared to just 29 percent in the rest of the City—as well as the school that serves the highest proportion of students of color. Both facts underscore the value of learning about how John Jay supports its transfer students, through policies, teaching practices, and program culture.

The CUNY Justice Academy (CJA) is a partnership between John Jay College and seven CUNY community colleges, designed to help students make the transition from an associate to a baccalaureate degree program. Students are automatically enrolled in the CJA after successfully completing their associate's degree in a CJA major at a participating CUNY community college; these students then have the opportunity to enter John Jay College as a third-year student in a bachelor's degree program.  


About Our Study

The Research Alliance is conducting a case study of CJA to understand the practices it uses to support transfer students. Drawing on interviews with students, faculty, and administrators, as well as classroom observations,  the study will:

  • Explore student experiences throughout the transfer process, from their initial enrollment in CUNY community colleges to their graduation from John Jay;
  • Document the CJA model and highlight promising practices for ensuring a successful transition from two- to four-year programs;
  • Collaborate with John Jay’s leadership team and our partners on the #DegreesNYC Youth Council to identify policy implications and broadly share lessons learned; and
  • Consider opportunities in the John Jay model for more extensive research.

This study has the potential to inform the work of other colleges in NYC and across the country,  by demonstrating what strong transfer pathways look like and how they can help address longstanding inequities in BA completion rates for Black and Latinx students.   

The study is supported by a grant from the Ichigo Foundation