Monday, December 5, 2011

Increasing LaGuardia's Graduation Rate

I have been heartened to read about your experiences incorporating technology  into your classes. It seems to have a positive  impact on the students who embrace it-even if somewhat reluctantly at first. As I've said in previous posts, my interest is in sharing information with my fellow 2.0ers that contribute to students' academic and career success. For many students that means graduating from LaGuardia before transferring to a senior college or entering the job market. Community colleges are the "mobility makers" in today's economy. They play a significant role in helping working and middle class people compete in an economy that is knowledge based.

President Mellow has set a goal of increasing LaGuardia's graduation rate by 80% from 26% to 47%. There are several college wide groups working to make this a reality. I am serving on two of these groups and there are a few others in the 2.0 community also involved in this effort

You may be surprised to learn what happens to CUNY community college students. For every 10 students who entered a CUNY community college in 2004, six year later: 6 dropped out; 1 was still enrolled; 2 earned an Associate's degree and 1 earned a Bachelor's degree. It's not because community colleges are insufficient in any way; we are significantly underfunded, students come to us under prepared, and students' lives are complex with competing demands for their time and attention making attending college a challenge.  Embedding student-center technology in the classroom seems to both engage and challenge students. 

I would like to hear your ideas-what do you think it will take to raise the graduation rate? Here is a link to the article, "Mobility Makers"  published by the Center for an Urban Future.


  1. The"Mobility Makers" report reveals some disappointing statistics about CUNY Community College. Just the fact that over 60% of our students drop out from the colleges is enough to wonder about what is really going on with our mission "to educate and gradute: students for "the evolving society". Assuming this is more or less the same at LaGuradia,I think we first need to gather the reasons why these students are leaving in record numbers. Even though there may be a multitude number of reasons, there may be some common ones among the vast majority. Students come here for specific goals. Along the way some thing must have prevent them to achieve their goals. Could it be finances? course content? family obligations? I think we need to know this to really understand this major problem. We can certainly use more technology to deliver lessons. But can our students afford subscription to Internet? We need to reach out to our students and find out what obstacles a5re preventing them from moving on with their educational goals.

  2. As our common goal, I often find myself frustrated with the barriers that we place on this journey for students. We almost have to get out of their way and out of our way to foster learning and learning that makes sense. There are rules that don't make sense to outsiders and students, but in the eyes of faculty and staff, are okay and simple. We need to create an environment whereby all rules and pathways are streamlined from admissions to graduation. The statistics reveal the truth--Each students is a testament to the hard work we do or we miss! And, each student that graduates is a miracle and a celebration!

  3. Ingrid, I agree! Do you have some examples you can share with me?

  4. Have you ever seen any tenured faculty member who graduated from LaGuardia? I wonder what he or she would say about this.

  5. Hey Judith! I just saw this... We can brainstorm together! The Destination Graduation Committee has great links and advice.