Derrick E. Griffith has been appointed Acting Assistant Provost for Student Success at Medgar Evers College, CUNY. In this new position, Griffith will have broad, cross – campus responsibilities for the assessment and promotion of student success with a focus on recruitment, retention and graduation. In addition, he will oversee and manage the Smart Scholars Early College – a collaboration between Medgar Evers College and Medgar Evers College Preparatory High School which allows high school students to enroll in Medgar Evers College courses, giving them a head start in their college careers.
“I am excited to join the administrative team at Medgar Evers College, where civil rights, educational equity, and access are at the roots of this fine institution,” said Griffith. “I am heartened by the commitment to student success expressed by President Pollard and Provost Johnson and look forward to sharing my passion and skills to advance their vision.”
Griffith comes to Medgar Evers College after serving as the Executive Director of Groundwork, Inc., a Brooklyn-based community organization working to increase college access among residents of public housing developments. Prior to that position he served as the founding Director and Principal of CUNY Prep Transitional High School administered by CUNY’s Office of Academic Affairs. In that capacity, he oversaw the administration of CUNY Prep, a model school that continues to offer out-of-school youth between the ages of 16 and 18 an opportunity for full-time study in order to qualify for admission to college. In 2006, he began a collaboration with Hostos Community College to launch a College Now program for students awaiting their GED results. Griffith was named to the inaugural committee for CUNY’s New Community College where he worked closely with the chair of the student services committee to create a template for student and academic affairs that would be user friendly and promote student success. While on the committee, he worked with the chair of the majors committee to explore health science majors for the New Community College.
“We welcome Mr. Griffith to the position,” said Medgar Evers College President Dr. William L. Pollard. “His administrative expertise and experience developing initiatives that promote positive student academic outcomes will be invaluable to our institution.”
Over the course of his professional career, Griffith has been a social studies teacher, curriculum and professional development manager, and adjunct instructor. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated who graduated from Clara Barton High School for Health Professions in Brooklyn, New York, where he earned a Regents Diploma and a certificate in Practical Nursing. While working as a licensed practical nurse, he earned a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He was active in student government serving as the first African American Student Body President to serve two terms in that role. In 1994, he received the Max and Dora Cohen Scholarship to attend the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester. In 1995, he received an M.S. in Counseling and Human Development and was named the Commencement Marshall. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center.