Hostos Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis was joined by CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez and New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams today to celebrate the ongoing success of CUNY Reconnect, a university-wide program that seeks to re-engage New Yorkers who have earned credits and could return to finish their degrees. The brainchild of Speaker Adams, the $4.4 million program launched this fall and has re-enrolled 17,000 students, surpassing its goal of 10,000 this academic year.

At Hostos, where the event was held, more than 900 students have returned to school under the program. In its pilot year, Reconnect specialists also reached out to students who graduated from NYC high school during the pandemic but were unable to attend college because of personal circumstances. Mayor Adams’ executive budget proposal includes $5.8 million support for the CUNY Reconnect program for the 2023-2024 academic year.

“This initiative is integral to our mission of ensuring equitable access to higher education,” said Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis. “Hostos and CUNY will be here, with open arms, welcoming back our communities on their learning journey. I’m sure they will achieve their highest aspirations with the support of this program and all our wonderful University system has to offer.”
(L-R) Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Speaker Adams, CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez and Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr.

“CUNY Reconnect is a remarkable success story, exceeding our expectations but more importantly helping 17,000 New Yorkers return to college and increase their chances of securing higher paying jobs,” said Chancellor Matos Rodríguez. “We are deeply grateful to City Council Speaker Adams for making this initiative a reality — she pitched the plan, pushed for its funding and continues to be one of CUNY’s greatest partners.”

“When we invest in the success of working-age New Yorkers and their families, our communities and city benefit,” said Speaker Adams. “In its first academic year, CUNY Reconnect has already helped 17,000 students return to the classroom to complete their college degrees and expand opportunities for economic mobility. With additional funding in the city budget, this groundbreaking initiative will reach even more New Yorkers to empower them to fulfill their dreams. I thank Chancellor Matos Rodríguez, Hostos Community College President Dr. Cocco De Filippis, my Council colleagues, and supporters of CUNY Reconnect who have helped us reach this significant milestone.”

An estimated 700,000 working-age New Yorkers who have earned credits and could return to finish their degrees or earn certificates that would help them enhance their careers. One of them is Erika Mata of the Bronx, who returned to college this fall after 30 years, enrolling as a mechanical engineering major at Hostos.

“I decided to come back and pursue an education so I can have better opportunities for myself and my 11-year-old son,” said Mata. “I had an excellent experience with the Hostos advisers. They guided me through the credit transfer process, which helped me get 19 credits from my previous college, and helped me customize my class schedule. Thanks to CUNY Reconnect, I am feeling empowered to succeed in higher education and beyond. So many roads are open to me now.”
At the center, Erika Mata shares her experience participating in the CUNY Reconnect initiative.

The biggest gains of the CUNY Reconnect program were in Queens, where 29% of the new enrollees live, followed by 27% in Brooklyn, 21% in the Bronx, 10% in Manhattan and 5% in Staten Island. An additional 8% reside outside of the city. By ethnicity, 34% of re-enrolled students identify as Hispanic, 32% Black, 16% white and 16% Asian or Pacific Islander.

About Eugenio María de Hostos Community College

Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for over half a century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.

Hostos offers 28 associate degree programs and three certificate programs that facilitate secure transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. A two-time Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence finalist, the College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 25 colleges.    
If you would like more information, please email Director of Communications Ivano Leoncavallo at  

About the City University of New York

The City University of New York is the nation’s largest urban public university, a transformative engine of social mobility that is a critical component of the lifeblood of New York City. Founded in 1847 as the nation’s first free public institution of higher education, CUNY today has seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving over 243,000 undergraduate and graduate students and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. CUNY’s mix of quality and affordability propels almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League colleges combined. More than 80 percent of the University’s graduates stay in New York, contributing to all aspects of the city’s economic, civic and cultural life and diversifying the city’s workforce in every sector. CUNY’s graduates and faculty have received many prestigious honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 26 MacArthur “Genius” Grants. The University’s historic mission continues to this day: provide a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background.