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December 2001

An Integrated City University Responds to the WTC Crisis

Bold, High-Tech TV Magazine Invites "Study with the Best"
NYC Past in Full Array At Inaugural History Festival
CUNY Community Colleges: Vital to City Economy
Arthur Miller Drops Back In for Finley Award at CCNY Dinner
Archaeologists Research Vikings
Faculty Experts Join Collaboration on World Trade Center Future
New Research Foundation Head
Asthma Initiative at BCC Registers Major Success
Oysters Reintroduced to Bay
York Grad Makes Naval History
Managing the 9/11 Crisis at BMCC
Hunter Cartographers Prepare Vital Ground Zero Maps For Rescue
CCNY’s Rosenberg/Humphrey Interns Continue Public Service Tradition
City Tech Prof Sheds Light on Titanic
New Device for Medical Diagnonis
Mina Rees, Pioneering Military Scientist
Annual Perspectives Nears 25th Anniversary
University to HIV Children: “Toys (and Lots Else) Are Us”
 
 
CUNY Community Colleges:
Vital to City Economy


John Mogulescu, University Dean for Academic Affairs and Deputy to the Executive Vice Chancellor, offers an overview of the community colleges' impact on the metropolitan economy.

The six community colleges of the City University are vital players in New York City's economy, generating a pool of skilled workers and an informed citizenry.
Nursing Student
The University offers a variety of two-year programs that lead to an Associate's Degree in nursing.
They will play a particularly critical role in the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster, as thousands of workers laid off in the ensuing economic dislocation return for retraining, honing of existing skills, or more advanced course work.

The community colleges serve a broad range of constituents—recent high school graduates, immigrant workers needing language and basic skills, and native New Yorkers seeking a second chance or a new career. In 2000-2001, our community colleges served 63,000 students in degree programs and more than 98,000 students in non- credit and adult and continuing education programs. Community college graduates are the backbone of New York City's workforce, and their alumni are leaders in every field of endeavor in New York. Here are some specific examples of how the community colleges energize the city's economy: Academic and Career Preparation

Half of CUNY's community college students are enrolled in programs preparing them for transfer into senior colleges. Those who graduate and transfer—many after overcoming substantial academic deficiencies—succeed at rates roughly equal to those who enter senior colleges as freshmen. Tens of thousands of these individuals permeate the local workforce—from stockbrokers to budget analysts, to journalists, policemen, nurses, business owners, teachers, computer technicians, civil servants, clothing designers. It is difficult to find firms and institutions in New York that do not have one or more CUNY community college graduates on their payroll.


Students and Mentor
Students and mentor working in a Hostos Community College computer lab.
The other 30,000-plus students in CUNY's community college degree programs are enrolled in one of 55 career-training programs, all developed in response to the workforce needs of New York employers and major industry groups. These career programs, many leading to certification and licensing, range from Accounting to Computer Programming, Electrical Technology, Paralegal Studies, Tourism and Hospitality, Business Management, Marketing, Environmental Technology, Broadcasting Technology, Advertising Arts, and Commercial Food Service Management. These programs produce the human capital that helps to drive the New York economy.

The community colleges are the leading educator for one of New York City"s largest employers, the health care industry. In the midst of the city's nursing shortage, these campuses last year graduated 359 RN's, more than one-fifth of all new RN graduates in the metropolitan area. Their programs are affiliated with hospitals, clinics and nursing homes across the city "Hostos Community College alone is linked to eight institutions" and their graduates are in demand. Other health care training programs span a dozen career paths such as paramedic, respiratory therapy, dental hygiene, nuclear medicine technology, radiologic technology, and medical office manager.

Graduates of career programs, although motivated to begin higher education by immediate vocational goals, often don"t stop at an Associate"s Degree. Having experienced success at a community college, many of them continue at a senior college and beyond.

Adult and Continuing Education
The community colleges offer hundreds of non-credit courses and programs through adult and continuing education that enable city residents to upgrade their work skills, obtain required job certification, and retrain themselves for new careers. A sampling of offerings at Bronx Community College alone suggests the broad range of workforce training that is under way system-wide: warehouse operations management, notary public, orthopedic technology certification, desktop publishing, plumbing, building systems management and operation, Web page design, hazardous waste management and transport, and commercial property management. Adult literacy, GED, and ESL courses are a staple of all continuing education programs. Contract Courses for

Business/Government
The community colleges have provided specialized training by contract with hundreds of City firms and agencies over the past five years. These range from the Cisco training academies operated by BMCC, Bronx and Kingsborough Community Colleges to Autocad Release 14 training conducted by Queensborough Community College for the United Sheetmetal Corp., to management training by LaGuardia Community College for the Travers Tool Company, and ESL classes provided by BMCC to McDonald's employees. The colleges also provide training for a range of city, state and federal agencies, including the city's Human Resources Administration, Department of Design and Construction, and the NYPD, as well as the U.S. Army.

Immigrant Gateway Training
Immigrants have constituted the bulk of new residents in New York City during the past decade, expanding and enriching the pool of entry-level and trained workers available to local employers. Most of these highly motivated workers, however, need English language instruction. The community colleges deliver the lion's share of that instruction through adult education, ESL, and Language Immersion programs.

This English instruction is often taken in tandem with basic skills or GED classes or vocational training, permitting immigrants to join the workforce as efficiently as possible. Approximately 25,000 recent immigrants were served through such programs this last year alone. In addition, many of these students ultimately enroll at one of the community colleges as matriculated students.

College Now
College Now was created to insure that all students meet or exceed the performance standards for high school graduation. Initially developed by Kingsborough Community College, it is now offered at all CUNY community colleges. This semester they offered College Now courses in 81 high schools, enabling 13,000 students to enroll in college- credit classes, prepare for the State's Regents exams and improve basic skills. The colleges are now working with the Board of Education to develop new career and technical education programs for the high schools. Welfare to Work and Job Placement

The community colleges provide job training and education to public assistance recipients under contracts with the NYC Human Resources Administration. More than 7,000 adults on public assistance benefitted from academic or job training, job and parenting counseling, and job placement services last year through a range of specially focused and successful programs. For example, the COPE program offers enhanced academic support and job placement services to students in career programs. The program at Hostos Community College last year served hundreds of students. Four community colleges are conducting educational and vocational assessments to help hundreds of public assistance recipients due to reach their five-year lifetime limits soon. They are also assisting the Human Resources Administration in devising action plans with them.

Workforce Analysis
BMCC and LaGuardia Community Colleges conduct and publish market analyses of employer needs and job trends in their boroughs to inform public and private decision- makers. The Institute for Business Trends Analysis at BMCC, working closely with the Downtown Business Alliance, publishes its findings in the Downtown Business Quarterly and the Downtown Data Report. The Institute has a $750,000 federal grant to work with unions, industry, other educational institutions and professional associations to close the regional skill gap facing the high tech industry.

Minority Entrepreneur Training
Most of the community colleges operate training workshops and support programs for minority and women entrepreneurs. An example is the PREP (Preparing Entrepreneurs for Profit) program operated by LaGuardia Community College, which has helped more than 900 women and minority-owned businesses compete for, and win, government contracts. The program is run in collaboration with the MTA and Pricewaterhousecoopers.
Community Cultural Institutions

The six community college campuses serve as the focal point for social and cultural activities in their neighborhoods, including theatrical, musical and dance events, cultural festivals, art shows, international performances, community conferences, small-group meetings, public lectures and discussions, job fairs, community fundraisers, and sporting events. As the city's neighborhoods grow increasingly diverse, these activities help create bonds that hold multiple-faceted communities together.

These are only some of the diverse ways our community colleges contribute to the economic health and vitality of New York City, to say nothing of the intellectual and cultural enrichment they provide in their communities. As we rebuild the city and look to the future, CUNY's community colleges will be an increasingly important component in our educational model, offering students an empowering education and the professional skills they need to succeed. Our community colleges will be challenged more than ever to be flexible and innovative in responding to the needs of students in an economic landscape of rapidly changing opportunities.