High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College
|High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College (HSMSE @ CCNY)|
|240 Convent Avenue
New York, New York, United States
|Type||Public specialized high school|
|Number of students||approx. 440|
Created in 2002 along with Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, and High School of American Studies at Lehman College, HSMSE was founded with an emphasis on engineering and design, and was envisioned as a small school with approximately four hundred students. The relatively small population of the school allows students and teachers to have a stronger relationship. Being a specialized high school not only draws students in, but also allows for a diverse student body.
The High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College ("HSMSE") is a selective, public, college prep high school in New York City. The school’s program of study provides a challenging high school experience that prepares its students for selective colleges, rewarding careers, and a life of civic engagement and ethical responsibility. HSMSE’s mission is to challenge talented students to expand their intellect by developing the habits of inquiry, written and verbal expression, and critical thinking. Instructionally supported by the The City College of New York (“CCNY"), the school’s academically challenging learning environment focuses on mathematics, science and engineering while emphasizing civic responsibility and the value of knowledge for its own intrinsic reward. HSMSE’s goal is to suffuse social, technological and analytical skills in order to facilitate the development of the next generation of leaders in society.
Located on the campus of City College, which stretches from West 133rd Street to West 141st Street along Convent Avenue, HSMSE is small, with a total of approximately 425 ninth to twelfth grade students. In October 2012 HSMSE welcomed as its new principal Ms. Crystal Bonds, formerly Assistant Principal of Guidance at Brooklyn Technical High School. Ms. Bonds is also Vice President of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science & Technology, of which HSMSE is a member. The school has been in existence since 2002 and, after graduating six senior classes, has been ranked the sixth best public high school in NYC. The school attracts top academically talented students who are admitted based on scores on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test ("SHSAT"). The nine Specialized High Schools also include Brooklyn Tech, Bronx Science, and Stuyvesant.
Facilities and Curriculum
The school is located on four floors of Baskerville Hall on the CCNY campus. Students eat lunch in the CCNY cafeteria and utilize the college library and gymnasium. Classrooms and labs on the first and second floors of Baskerville were completely renovated in 2010 and Smart Boards and computers are available in most classrooms. The school has an extended day schedule and 85 minute periods with classes on alternating days, enabling a greater degree of focus and depth than the usual high school schedule. Class sizes are small, with an average of approximately 24 students per class. In addition to a rigorous core subject program emphasizing math, science and the humanities, all students are required to take a minimum of three engineering core courses through 11th grade sponsored by Project Lead the Way. After 10th grade most students take a concentration of engineering or mathematics courses while a smaller group participates in a biomedical research program at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
HSMSE’s diverse student body is drawn from all five boroughs of NYC. The school was recognized by The New York Times in 2012 as the most diverse school in New York City: “with an index of 74 (130 Asians, 75 blacks, 99 Hispanics and 101 whites).  HSMSE is a school where students of all ethnic and economic backgrounds mingle comfortably. The faculty is notably dedicated, many devoting personal time to mentor students, to coach teams and to support extracurricular activities. Support mechanisms are in place for students who struggle, through informal peer tutoring as well as through daily tutoring sessions offered by every teacher.
Virtually all of HSMSE’s diverse, high-achieving students go on to college, many of them to highly competitive colleges. College recruiters come on campus each year from most Ivy League schools as well as from many top engineering and liberal arts colleges.
All students take a minimum of five Mathematics courses and a three-year Engineering sequence and choose a concentration after 10th grade in either the Mt. Sinai Biomedical Research Program, Mathematics Concentration or Advanced Engineering Concentration. Most courses are taught at the advanced and college level and, by graduation, all students will have completed a significant number of college level courses with credit granted by CCNY as well as Advanced Placement courses. All students in the graduating classes beginning in 2013 will complete at least two Advanced Placement courses, as HSMSE teaches AP English Literature as the standard 11th grade English course and AP World History as the 9th and 10th grade social studies course. The school also offers AP Statistics, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry and AP German. Students may take advantage of additional undergraduate courses offered through the CUNY College Now program.
German is the core language taught at HSMSE which has one of the largest high school German programs in the United States. The school also offers Spanish at the advanced level for students who pass an entrance exam and then begin at the second-year level, but the majority of students take German for a minimum of three years. HSMSE’s founders believed that German is the language of engineering. As a result, about 75% of HSMSE students study German, which is offered through the Advanced Placement level, and many of them continue to study German in college. The school employs three full time German teachers and is one of nine US partner schools of the PASCH program of the Goethe Institut through its "Schools: Partners for the Future" program. Every summer HSMSE sends a number of students on funded study trips to Germany with the Goethe Institut and the American Association of Teachers of German.
Students at HSMSE have one elective period each day. All 9th graders beginning in Fall 2012 will take a Study Skills and Research course (referred to as "Freshman Academy") as their elective. The diverse electives program includes such subjects as Varsity & JV Math Team, Astronomy, Philosophy, Science Research, Sustainable Civilizations, Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS), Nanotechnology, History of the 1960s, Sports Journalism, Gastronomy, Poetry, Yearbook, Creative Writing, Band and Art History.
Extracurriculars and Sports
Students participate in extracurricular activities such as Dance Team, Cheerleading, Eat NYC, Spades Club, Model UN, Euro Challenge, Fed Challenge, Key Club, Junior States of America, Dr. Dragon school magazine, Harlem Is,The National Society of Black Engineers, Robotics, Photography Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Ping Pong Club and Film. Students regularly compete in the AMC, AIME and NYC Math Competitions and submit research to the New York City Science and Engineering Fair and national scientific research competitions.
PSAL sports teams include boys' basketball, soccer, baseball and volleyball, girls' basketball, softball and soccer, and coed cross-country.
Student events occur throughout the year, such as Club Fair, Student Leadership Conference, Talent Show, Spring Fair and Multicultural Night. There is also a Student Government with two representatives from each grade, along with a Secretary and Treasurer.
- "How to Get To HSMSE!". High School for Math, Science and Engineering. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- “The Top 10 [New York City High Schools], The New York Post, September 8, 2012 - http://www.hsmse.org/new-york-post-the-top-10-nyc-high-schools/
- https://reportcards.nysed.gov/files/2010-11/AOR-2011-310500011692.pdf, page 2
- “A Portrait of Segregation in New York City’s Schools, Ford Fessenden. The New York Times, May 12, 2012
- https://reportcards.nysed.gov/files/2010-11/CIR-2011-310500011692.pdf, Page 4