Reimagining Community Colleges - An Invitation-only National Colloquium

September 23, 2011


Community colleges have increasingly become the focus of national attention, and thoughtful ideas and questions continue to emerge about their mission, accountability, and completion and transfer rates.  This is a propitious time for serious, in-depth dialogue about the direction and future of community college education.   

On September 23, 2011, The City University of New York, led by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, will host the National Colloquium on Community Colleges to engage recognized experts in important conversations about community college education.  Please join us at this all-day, invitation-only gathering to be held at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, Fifth Avenue at 34th Street, New York, NY.  A welcoming reception for all participants will be held on the evening of Thursday, September 22, at the Graduate Center. 

This event is currently at capacity and is closed for in-person registrations.  If you would like to view the event virtually, please REGISTER HERE.





September 22, 2011 Evening

6:00 p.m. - Welcome Reception, Graduate Center, The City University of New York

September 23, 2011

8:00 a.m. - Breakfast and Registration

9:00 a.m. - Opening Remarks
Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, CUNY
Introduced by Eduardo Martí, Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges, CUNY 

Sessions and Roundtable Descriptions

Morning Sessions:

9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. - First Session:  Scaling Innovation

Transformational Educational Models: How can we bring them to scale at existing community colleges so as to meet the Completion Agenda?

Introduced by Eduardo Martí, Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges, CUNY
Moderated by Carol Ann Riddel, former WNBC Reporter-Anchor

President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative challenges us to reestablish the U.S. as the nation having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. As part of this initiative, the President is calling for an additional 5 million community college degrees and certificates by 2020. The AACC and other national organizations, in support of this initiative, have stated their intent to work towards a 50% increase in college graduates by 2020; The College Board, in turn, has called for a 55% increase by 2025.  

Much is being asked of community colleges at a time when funding on both state and local levels has been cut. Among the questions to be grappled with is whether the $2.5 billion that the Federal Government will provide over the next ten years is enough to help us meet the challenge.
It is time for us to regroup, identify and focus on our most innovative and successful educational models, and assess the viability of bringing them to scale in a cost-effective manner so that all students can share their benefits.

Panelists will engage the audience in a conversation about what it takes to bring successful practices to scale in a cost effective manner.  


Thomas Bailey, George and Abby O'Neill Professor of Economics and Education in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University.
Victor Borden, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Indiana University Bloomington.
Scott Evenbeck, Founding President of New Community College, CUNY 

10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Break

11:00 a.m. - 11:35 a.m. - Roundtable I: Solving Complex Educational Problems

Introduced by Felíx Matos Rodriń£uez, President, Hostos Community College, CUNY

In this roundtable, Louis Gomez and Jim Stigler, from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, explore the concept of scaling up transformative educational models as a complex educational problem.  The presenters will draw on a similarity between President Obama’s goal and the concept presented by Intel’s co-founder, Gordon Moore, that the number of transistors that could be placed cost-effectively on a circuit board would double every year for the next 20 years.  This transformational model was a complex problem where design, engineering, and development came together.  In a similar manner, doubling the graduation rate of adults by 2020 requires researchers and practitioners to come together to solve the problem. 
Panelists will use the STAWAY educational model to demonstrate how Networked Improvement Communities operate.


Louis Gomez, Dr. Helen S. Faison Chair in Urban Education and Director of the  Center for Urban Education, University of Pittsburgh
James Stigler, Professor of Psychology, UCLA; Director, TIMSS Video Studies; and Founder, LessonLab, Inc.

11:40 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. - Roundtable II: Voluntary Framework for Accountability

Introduced by Carole Berotte Joseph, President, Bronx Community College, CUNY
Moderated by Karen Stout, President, Montgomery County Community College

The Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) offers benchmarks for community colleges to track student progress and completion data against peer institutions. The VFA is designed to boost student completion rates by holding colleges accountable to their funding sources and is similar to the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) developed for public 4 four-year colleges. Roundtable presenters will explore the ramifications of having a “voluntary” system of accountability in these times of budget exigencies. 

Panelists will examine the relationship between the findings of the Achieving the Dream Project and the VFA.  By using a relative uniform data base, can we influence a data-driven decision making process?


Kent Phillippe
, Senior Research Associate, American Association of Community College

12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch

Afternoon Sessions:

1:15 p.m. - Lunch Keynote: The Future of Community Colleges
Walter Bumphus, President, American Association of Community Colleges
View Presentation Slides

Introduced by Carolyn Williams, President Emeritus, Bronx Community College, CUNY
and former Chair, American Association of Community Colleges

2:00 p.m.- 3:15 p.m. - Second Session: Promises Made and Broken

Introduced by Regina Peruggi, President, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY
Moderated by Ron Williams, Vice President of Community College Initiatives, The College Board

In a study analyzing comparative data on several statewide higher education systems, Bill Bowen concluded that closing the gap among racial, ethnic, and economic groups leads to an overall increase in student success and that setting high expectations, debunking the “mismatch theory”, emphasizing academic rigor and minimizing reliance on standardized tests as dominant admission criteria are strategies that can help minority students succeed.

Paul Attewell calls for addressing aspects of educational policy that stacks the deck against disadvantaged students, e.g. skyrocketing tuition and punishing reductions in student aid, and he argues that we need to focus on what higher education is, not what it was. With a much greater percentage of high school graduates attending college, today’s undergraduate “working-class student” who typically juggles family or work obligations, who stops out for a while or drops to a part-time status to earn enough money to pay the next semester’s tuition, needs more than six years to graduate. As to the value of a degree, he notes that it has not eroded over time, that even those who do not graduate earn significantly more that those who never attended college, and that the impact of attending college on the next generation is noteworthy.   


William Bowen, President Emeritus, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Princeton University.
Paul Attewell, Professor of Sociology and of Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center

3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Break

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. - Third Session:  Faculty Matters!! 

Introduced by Gail Mellow, President, La Guardia Community College, CUNY
Moderated by John Merrow, Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour and President, Learning Matters

Community college faculty members are practitioners of the art and the science of teaching.  Faced with a heterogeneous population of students, Open Admissions teaching is much different than the teaching that occurs at the Selective Admissions colleges and universities. Yet, community college faculty members need similar credentials and must engage in similar activities as the faculty members at research universities or comprehensive four-year colleges.  Is it time to better define the role of faculty members at community colleges?  The learning outcomes movement is a driving new focus of the educational experience.  How can faculty contribute to shaping this new emphasis on learning outcomes? How do we shape educational pathways—curricular and co-curricular-- that help students achieve the learning outcomes graduates need – for success in work, life and citizenship?


Susan Furhman
, President, Teachers College, Columbia University
Carol Geary Schneider, President, Association of American Colleges and Universities

4:45 p.m. - Closing Remarks

Eduardo Martí, Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges, CUNY

5:30 p.m.  - Closing Reception

>>> Register here to attend virtually





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