Guttman Community College celebrates its sixth commencement in June 2019, and how interesting and wonderful the years since we opened in 2012 have been! We welcomed our inaugural cohort of 289 students that year, and as of fall 2018, 945 students call Guttman home.
We have made news and marked milestones along the way. The summer of 2018 was the tenth anniversary of the Concept Paper that inspired and envisioned a new community college—CUNY’s first in more than four decades. I’m pleased to report that Guttman’s success continues to have the support of our Advisory Council and attracts a steady stream of higher education and foundation visitors who seek to understand how we can more effectively help historically underserved students earn their associate degrees and go on to baccalaureate studies and gainful employment.
Since we opened, our academic programs have built solid foundations, with our three-year graduation rates more than doubling the national average for public colleges. Our students are engaged in meaningful experiential learning opportunities, including studying abroad as part of our signature Global Guttman program. The College continues to be of interest to educators around the country for how a community college can enhance student success through guided pathways to graduation and beyond. As we celebrate our success, however, it must be said that all of us at the College also feel the urgent need to improve our outcomes across all demographic groups and to grow with a new campus to serve even more—3,000+—deserving students.
Now Guttman Community College is embarking on its second Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022—a plan for the second half of our first decade, which strives to improve our practice so that we achieve even greater things to come. We have a clear vision, mission, and strong values. The collaborative work of many faculty, staff, students, and administrators, provides a roadmap to our second decade in the form of our major goals and sub goals or objectives. Overarching our four major goals are two institutional goals: 1) to create an equitable community in which all students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds can work and learn to the best of their ability; and 2) to engage in continuous assessment and rigorous and sustained research of our model to improve overall effectiveness in pursuit of our mission. The plan will only be as good and useful as those who focus on the actions that will realize our goals. Given the passion and intelligence our colleagues bring to this work, I’m grateful for all their efforts and confident in the outcomes we will achieve to improve our model (major goal 1), to become the exemplary work environment we aspire to be (major goal 2), to be an adroit learning organization that effectively communicates our mission and accomplishments (major goal 3), and to maximize the use of our short term space and collaboratively plan our long term space in order to grow to full capacity (major goal 4).
I invite you to celebrate our milestones with us, to acknowledge our successes and challenges, and to strive with the Guttman community as we together renew our vision, our mission, and our goals.
Scott E. Evenbeck
Stella and Charles Guttman Community College