The City College Advantage

kevin-foster-research-for-the-common-goodI hope you read the recent report about how vital CCNY is, in propelling so many of our students out of poverty.  The report, led by Stanford economist Raj Chetty*, showed that 76% of City College students who started from the lowest 20% of income end up at least an entire quintile higher, so neither the lowest nor the second-lowest 20%.  That report ranks CCNY #2 for mobility in the entire country.  We are all proud of our contributions to this effort.  But let me link that report to other strands of economic research.

That leap in income is tremendously rare.  Most people stay in the same quintile where they start and of those who move, most move just one quintile up or down – very few take more than one step away.  You may remember hearing Raj Chetty’s name last month, documenting what David Leonhardt called the “end of the American Dream,” as he tabulated data that showed people born in 1950 had nearly an 80% chance of making more money than their parents, while those born in 1980 had just a 50% chance.  (He also provided data about the geography of opportunity: there are some parts of the country that do better than others.)  CCNY’s American Dream Machine is enormously difficult; it was always tough but it is becoming even more so.

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On Graduation

If you’ve never been to a CCNY graduation, you should come.

All graduations are joyous events; all graduations affect transitions between years of preparation and a world rife with new possibilities.  And, I’ll admit that it’s been years since I’ve attended a graduation that did not take place on a CUNY campus—but I still think our graduations are different.

I think they’re different because they’re filled with young people rewriting their entire family history.  When you wander around after a Colin Powell School graduation ceremony, you’re surrounded by parents who’ve sent sons and daughters into a world they didn’t understand and couldn’t explain to their children.  For many it may feel like a huge gamble: will their children grow unfamiliar to them, alienated from home and culture? Will the embrace of an education build walls, or create ladders? Will a child’s opportunity be a family’s loss? Despite the risks and doubts, or perhaps because of them, students and families arrive at graduation day as to a new continent they never thought they’d reach.  The air is spiced with their joy.

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New Investments for a ‘Changing Financial Landscape’

This summer, the Pew Charitable Trusts published a report that got my attention. The report, Federal and State Funding of Higher Education: A Changing Landscape, broke down the numbers and found that as state funding continues to dwindle, federal support has increased. This is a crucial shift in the financing model for public education, with tremendous implications for the Colin Powell School, its students, and the future of public education.

Vince Boudreau, Deanby Vince Boudreau, Dean, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

This summer, the Pew Charitable Trusts published a report that got my attention. The report, Federal and State Funding of Higher Education: A Changing Landscape, broke down the numbers and found that as state funding continues to dwindle, federal support has increased. This is a crucial shift in the financing model for public education, with tremendous implications for the Colin Powell School, its students, and the future of public education.

While state contributions typically show up as support for specific institutions, federal dollars generally arrive as grants, loans, and tax relief to individual students. Historically, state aid to institutions accounted for the lion’s share of public funding to colleges like The City College of New York. But in recent years, shifts in funding profiles made state and federal contributions to education more equal. Hence, even as we bemoan the drop in state support for our campus—in the past five years, state funds fell from 48 percent of our operating budget to just about 30 percent as of this year— the hidden story has been that federal dollars have been rising at just about the same rate. On our books, they show up as tuition revenue rather than public support—but the amount of public monies devoted to higher education have remained more stable than an exclusive focus on state contributions suggest.

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The Public University: Dying a Slow Death?

Year after year, the defunding of public higher education has crept forward without sounding many alarms. It’s not clear that any policy maker or government unit made a specific decision to withdraw support for state universities. Yet, if the current trend continues, most states will have fully divested themselves from supporting public higher education by the 2050s.How have we allowed this to happen? Through varying degrees of neglect—some more easily pinpointed than others.

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by Vince Boudreau, Dean, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, The City College of New York

Year after year, the defunding of public higher education has crept forward without sounding many alarms. It’s not clear that any policy maker or government unit made a specific decision to withdraw support for state universities. Yet, if the current trend continues, most states will have fully divested themselves from supporting public higher education by the 2050s. In New York State, the sunset year is projected to be 2038.

There was a time when New York State citizens covered more than 75 percent of The City College of New York’s budget. Today, that number stands at 36 percent, down a full 11 percentage points in the last four years alone.

How have we allowed this to happen? Through varying degrees of neglect—some more easily pinpointed than others. Continue reading “The Public University: Dying a Slow Death?”

Three Crucial Questions for Every Student

In its name and mission, the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership pledges to “enable our students to energetically address the challenges of the 21st century” by “promoting the values of service, engagement, and leadership.” We believe a fundamental lesson of leadership is the idea of agency. The Office of Student Success begins teaching this lesson by asking our students three questions.

Kamilah Briscoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Kamilah Briscoe, Director, Office of Student Success

In its name and mission, the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership pledges to “enable our students to energetically address the challenges of the 21st century” by “promoting the values of service, engagement, and leadership.” We believe a fundamental lesson of leadership is the idea of agency. The Office of Student Success begins teaching this lesson by asking our students three questions.

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From the Dean: The Fundamentals of Leadership

Over the weeks and months to follow, I will, in our blog, lay out a vision for the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership—this wonderful endeavor I’ve been asked to shepherd. I’ll outline new programming, opportunities for students, and faculty projects, but my next post will stick close to examining what agency must mean in the service of our educational mission, and how we can produce a kind of leadership education that inspires our curriculum and propels confident, visionary students into the world.

vinceheadshotby Dean Vince Boudreau, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership

Leadership can mean a lot of things to different people, and has been on the minds of more than a few of us at the Colin Powell School. What does it mean to shoulder the task of developing leadership capacities in new generations of City College students?

For us, leadership probably needs to mean something different than the specific training programs that take place in Outward Bound experiences or executive leadership seminars—because our leadership development work occurs alongside the university’s degree-granting activity. Students here need to prepare themselves for leadership roles as they learn the ins and outs of economics, sociology, psychology, and other academic fields.  Continue reading “From the Dean: The Fundamentals of Leadership”