CARING FOR THE CAMPUS: “I am a student advocate at heart.”
“I believe wholeheartedly that if you create the right environment and provide the tools, anybody can learn and anybody can be successful,” says Nadine Browne, the Director of Accelerated Study in Associate Programs at Bronx Community College.
She credits her undergraduate encounter with the Higher Education Opportunity Program at Hofstra University for inspiring her 20-year career as a college administrator. “That began my passion for working with underserved students.”
Her roots in The City University of New York began at Kingsborough Community College in 2003. Later, she would return to CUNY as an administrator at Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she became a part of ASAP shortly after it was introduced in CUNY, eventually rising to the director of the program at BMCC.
She joined us in 2017 as the BCC ASAP Director, attracted by BCC’s status as an ASAP college and how the program was “institutionally integrated” and served as a catalyst for the College’s redesign.
“We serve half of the overall population. The goal of the work we do is removing barriers that exist as students work toward their degree and navigate the college experience. We focus on developing student success through one-on-one advisement sessions and group workshops to address learning gaps, career readiness, personal needs and making the connection to campus and external resources.”
Browne does this with a staff of 35, of which 25 are advisers, the heart of the ASAP experience. The tuition waivers, the funds for books, the free MetroCards make life easier for the ASAP students. But the soul of ASAP is in the one-on-one advisement in all areas of college life, from the first day of classes to Commencement.
The perseverance of the program and its students were tested by the epidemic. “In the virtual environment, we basically had to redesign program operations and the delivery of services for three thousand students. We had to see what would works and we had to do it really fast.
“The positive that came out of this — I’ve never seen this amount, of collaboration, camaraderie and sharing of ideas.
“I am a roll-up-your-sleeves administrator,” says the Brooklyn native. “You only really know what’s happening in the trenches if you are a part of it, especially at the beginning of the semester. At the end of the day,” she adds, “I am a student advocate at heart.”