LaGuardia Community College Foundation Receives $1.05M for Global Skills for College Completion

Long Island City, NY—LaGuardia Community College Foundation has been awarded a $1,048,143 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue the development of Global Skills for College Completion (GSCC).  GSCC, a project partnership between LaGuardia Community College and Knowledge in the Public Interest, is a network of community college faculty and researchers committed to the idea that improving our nation’s graduation rates starts with the professors who teach basic skills in mathematics and English.  GSCC has created an online practice improvement strategy that allows college faculty across the country to connect with and learn from each other in order to help students achieve better pass rates in basic skills classes.

Over the past two years, GSCC worked with 25 of the country’s most effective professors teaching remediation at community colleges across the country, gathering information about their classroom methods of success.  Using innovative technology and a set of powerful digital tools created by GSCC, faculty examined and analyzed their personal teaching patterns. GSCC faculty also connected and worked with each other to create more engaging, inspiring and effective classrooms by testing and adapting new tactics that improve student outcomes.  GSCC has analyzed its data to identify classroom practices most commonly used by great teachers and found that it’s not just what you teach, it’s how you teach it.

“At a time when an educated workforce is more important than ever before, the time for a bold new look at college – particularly in remedial classrooms – is now.  This generous grant from BMGF will enable GSCC to continue our important work with faculty across the country, using new tactics and technology to improve our nation’s graduation rates,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College, Co-Principal Investigator GSCC.

The current award will allow GSCC to launch a second cohort of full time and adjunct faculty who teach remedial mathematics or English, to be recruited from community colleges across the country, as well as to refine GSCC’s innovative online tools.  A call for the faculty participants will be issued in late January, 2012 for a fall semester launch.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation award will also fund the development of a business plan for an online Research & Development Network that will capitalize on the success of the GSCC. The Research & Development Network will be a linked system that can support and supplement research in developmental education by providing a ready set of faculty to explore and test activities, curriculum, online tools, etc., that are being developed by other projects—in real time in actual classrooms.

“Our paradigm-shifting methods help faculty re-examine their own practices, test and adapt methods most appropriate to their own challenges and connect with fellow educators for a larger network of support and ideas.  This funding will allow GSCC to bring this innovative approach to community colleges across the country in order to bring better outcomes to the students who need it most,” said Dr. Diana D. Woolis, Founding Partner, Knowledge in the Public Interest, Co-Principal Investigator GSCC.

For information about Global Skills for College Completion, please contact Dr. Marisa Klages, Project Director,

<>, 718‑482‑5677.

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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and proudly carries forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for its boundary‑breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger.

Knowledge in the Public Interest, founded in 2001, designs conversations that are transforming education. Through innovative uses of social media, KPI fosters powerful online collaborations focusing on educational practice and policy.  KPI brings together education leaders, researchers,

practitioners, and other experts throughJams—one‑day, synchronous, moderated online exchanges;eCommunities—structured, facilitated virtual working groups that achieve specific outcomes over set timeframes; and Networks**—ongoing interactions of diverse participants addressing issues of shared concern.