Case Study Published about Creation of The New Community College at CUNY



April 22, 2013 | Publication

(New York, NY): The New Community College at CUNY (NCC) announces the publication of a case study with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation–Rethinking Community College for the 21st Century. The report describes how The NCC was developed from its initial planning in 2008 to its opening in August 2012 with the goal of significantly improving student learning, performance, retention and graduation. It also highlights the creative thinking and complex work that has been done to create a new kind of community college. Rethinking Community College for the 21st Century will be an invaluable resource to those in higher education and to higher education reformers and policy makers in understanding the potential of this new model and what it takes to implement.

“This case study effectively captures the story of how a major public university creates a new college from the ground up and addresses the challenges and constraints in launching this innovative delivery model in postsecondary education. We hope the study will be as instructive to the higher education community as it will be to the future success of our college,” commented Scott E. Evenbeck, New Community College President.

Rethinking Community College for the 21st Century reviews the planning of The NCC, including building the college model, infrastructure, accreditation, and outreach across the university and at the state level. Authors Alexandra Weinbaum, Camille Rodriguez, and Nan Bauer-Maglin spent four years studying and documenting the complex work of developing an innovative new community college focused on student learning and success within the City University of New York, the largest U.S. urban university.

The salient features of the college’s innovative model designed to improve student academic performance are examined: elimination of non-credit developmental classes; a summer bridge program prior to the start of college; full-time attendance for first-year students; a core curriculum; student learning communities; instructional teams of faculty and support staff that meet weekly to discuss curricular and teaching issues; and a layered structure for academic and student support. How the college bridges academic and vocational education through a curriculum that blends theoretical and occupational knowledge is also explored. The study concludes with insights based on The NCC’s experience for the planning of similarly innovative approaches to community college education.

Rethinking Community College for the 21st Century Executive Summary and Case Study are available for download on The NCC web site.

About the Authors:
Alexandra Weinbaum, Camille Rodriguez, and Nan Bauer-Maglin have been documenting the planning of The New Community College since 2010. Collectively, they bring extensive experience in teaching at the K-12 and higher education levels, research and evaluation, community organizing, and developing and directing programs related to improving outcomes for underserved and low-income students. They have also edited and contributed to many books and articles related to this work.

About The New Community College at CUNY:
Established on September 20, 2011, with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s final approval of an Amendment to CUNY’s Master Plan, The New Community College at CUNY (NCC) is the University’s first new community college in more than 40 years. The NCC was inspired by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein’s visionary charge in 2008 to develop a new educational model for a community college. The overarching goals were to enhance student academic achievement and the timely attainment of degrees, especially for CUNY’s diverse urban students with a wide range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds who are often the first generation in their families to attend college.

Located in midtown Manhattan, The NCC offers associate degree programs in an environment that nurtures student success. The NCC connects field experiences with classroom learning in a structured and supportive environment. All students begin in the Summer Bridge Program and engage full-time in an interdisciplinary, credit-bearing first-year curriculum focused on New York City before starting their major coursework in one of six degree programs. Instructional teams comprising faculty members, student success advocates, graduate coordinators, peer mentors and library staff create a rich classroom environment complemented by an integrated advisement program to help students stay on the path to graduation. The NCC has the same admissions standards and similar student demographics as other CUNY community colleges. To learn more about The New Community College at CUNY, visit

About The City University of New York:
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University is comprised of 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. The University serves more than 269,000 degree credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via, the University’s website.

Media Contact: Bruce Lyons
Phone: (646) 313-8015