BMCC Receives $105,000 From The New York Community Trust For Study on Obstacles Facing Women of Color in Higher Education.

December 29, 2008 | Borough of Manhattan Community College

In an effort to help more women of color succeed academically and gain better economic security, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) today announced it has received a $105,000 grant from The New York Community Trust to conduct The Community College Odyssey: Identifying and Addressing the Obstacles for Young Women of Color.

Assessing the Effectiveness of Academic and Support Services
The study, in partnership with LaGuardia and Hostos community colleges, will assess the effectiveness of academic and support services, and how these services interact with other services within each institution. The study is designed to address an alarming statistic that the majority of the 21% New Yorkers who live below the federal poverty line are women of color, typically with children. Research indicates that obtaining a post-secondary school degree is an effective gateway to economic stability, and the majority of students enrolled in New York City’s community colleges are women of color.

BMCC is working in partnership with LaGuardia and Hostos Community College
BMCC is working on the study with LaGuardia and Hostos community colleges to have a more diverse population of women represented; Hostos, located in the Bronx, has more Latinos students, while LaGuardia, located in Long Island City, has more international students. BMCC serves a largely African-American population. The Women of Color Policy Network at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Policy will also assist the researchers in a consulting capacity.

The co-principal investigators for the study are Professors Precious Sellers-Mulhern, of the Counseling Department, and Lisa Rose, from the Social Science and Human Services Department. They will conduct the research and examine the results along with their partnering investigators at Hostos and LaGuadia. Mr. Brian Haller, BMCC’s Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations wrote the initial proposal. Dr. Marva Craig, BMCC’s Dean of Student Affairs, was instrumental in developing the collaborative relationship with LaGuardia and Hostos and will continue to take an active role in the study.

“As community colleges evolve and are admitting more females than in the past, we must look at the services that we need to provide them and determine how effective they are,” says Craig. “The goal of this grant is two-fold: to provide BMCC and our sister institutions with ways and means to address and serve their growing female populations, and to inform the literature on the needs of female students in urban community colleges.”

The New York Community Trust, will cover the first year of the study, which has a three year timeline.