Donna Linderman

Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

City University of New York

Donna Linderman

Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

City University of New York

Donna Linderman is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the City University of New York (CUNY). Her portfolio includes a broad array of CUNY-wide programs designed to support the academic preparation and degree success of students across the pre- and post-matriculation continuum. Her programs include: Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), a nationally recognized associate degree completion program currently serving 21,000 students across nine CUNY colleges (and expanding to 25,000 students in 2018/19); Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE), a four-year baccalaureate version of ASAP currently being piloted at CUNY’s John Jay College; CUNY Start/Math Start, pre-matriculation programs for students with significant remedial needs in reading, writing, and math designed to eliminate or significantly reduce remedial need before they enter CUNY degree programs currently serving 5,500 students across nine colleges; CUNY Educate, Develop, Graduate, and Empower (EDGE), a degree completion program for public assistance recipients currently serving 3,000 students at 18 CUNY colleges; CUNY Literacy and Language Programs, which deliver basic education, high school equivalency instruction, and intensive English language instruction to 10,000 students each year across 14 CUNY colleges; and the Fostering College Success Initiative (FCSI), a new residential program with wraparound support services for foster care youth pursuing a CUNY degree.

AVC Linderman also oversees ASAP’s national replication efforts through provision of technical assistance for community colleges aiming to replicate ASAP (currently in Ohio, California, and New York). She is regularly asked to speak at national conferences and convenings focused on community college completion and her written work has appeared in several education journals and conference proceedings. She was formerly the University Director of the CUNY Middle Grades Initiative/GEAR UP program, served as an Assistant Professor of Theater and Education at Brooklyn College, and has also taught at Lehman College. Before entering academia, she worked professionally in the theater as an actor, director, and dramaturg.

She holds a B.F.A. in drama from the University of Southern California, an M.F.A. in theater from Brooklyn College, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration at Northeastern University.


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15 to Finish

Boost the number of students who are on track for on-time graduation by encouraging enrollment in 15 credits each semester (30 credits per year, including summers). Financial aid dollars, as well as institutional process and practice, should support that standard.

Math Pathways

Ensure all students enroll in and complete gateway math in their first year by designing math courses that are aligned with the skills students need for their chosen program of study.

Corequisite Support

Increase gateway course completion within the first year by enrolling entering students into the college-level math and English courses, providing those who need additional help a concurrent course or lab that offers just-in-time academic support.

Momentum Year

Build momentum so students meet first-year benchmarks: informed choice of meta major or major, enrollment in 30 credits with nine in the program of study and completion of gateway courses. Provide early support and guidance for decision making, using interest assessments and labor-market data.

Academic Maps with Proactive Advising

Default students onto highly-structured academic maps that include 15 credits per semester (or 30 per year), indicate milestone and pre-requisite courses, and empower advisors to effectively monitor progress and provide intervention as needed.

A Better Deal for Returning Adults

Increase degree attainment by inviting adult learners back to complete their education, providing a redesigned system that offers accelerated courses, year-round enrollment and predictable schedules. Give credit for prior learning and experience and additional support to help students navigate the system.

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