VIDEO: Unlocking the Full Potential of New York’s Community Colleges

January 22, 2014

In January 2014, the Center for Urban Future convened a symposium with leading education experts focusing on how to fully harness the potential of New York’s 35 community colleges and ensure that more of those who enroll in these institutions actually graduate.

Currently, just 35 percent of enrolling freshman graduate with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree within six years.

New York State's 35 community colleges are increasingly vital to the state's economy and more critical than ever to individuals' economic mobility. But they are often taken for granted by policymakers and face enormous challenges in graduating students. While enrollment growth at the state's community colleges over the past decade has greatly outpaced that of New York's four-year colleges, only 35 percent of full-time students who enroll in the state's community colleges obtain an associate or bachelor's degree within six years.

This symposium in Albany focused on how New York can harness the full potential of its community colleges and what can be done to ensure that more of those who enroll in the state’s community colleges actually graduate. The panel discussion included specific steps that state policymakers could take to better support New York’s community college and strategies that administrators at SUNY and CUNY could adopt to increase completion rates; examined what New York might learn from other states, as well as initiatives that CUNY and SUNY have already developed that are worth expanding; and explored the findings of Completion Day and Mobility Makers, the Center’s reports on student success in New York State and New York City.

Click the link below the video to access links to the symposium materials including agenda, bios and other handouts.