In “America’s Broken Promise: Bridging the Community College Achievement Gap,” Eduardo Marti, former president of Queensborough Community College in New York, suggests new ways community colleges, which play a crucial role in American higher education, can and must meet the complex, varied needs of their students.
Community colleges are the only postsecondary institutions that promise to educate and prepare all interested Americans. Yet, they are often publicly criticized by politicians, tax payers, and fellow educators.
“Many community colleges concentrate on preparing or remediating a student’s educational deficiencies. Many students, however, face not only educational deficiencies but emotional, social, and financial deficiencies as well,” says Dr. Martí, who has served in community college leadership positions for more than 30 years. “That is the ‘promise’ I refer to in the book. We promise every person who comes to us that they have access to higher education. Yet, only 18 percent of those who entered, in fact, graduate. That is the ‘broken promise.’”
The roughly 1,200 community colleges in the U.S. serve a population of approximately 12 million students – with, according to Marti, more than 60 percent of students needing educational remediation upon enrollment.
The book also looks at the history of community colleges, explains the multiple, competing missions, and suggests ways they can alter their processes to become more responsive to the whole student and can come closer to fulfilling the achievement promise.
About Dr. Eduardo Martí
Dr. Eduardo Martí has served community colleges over thirty years, as interim president of Bronx Community College, Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges of the City University of New York, president emeritus Queensborough Community College, president of Corning Community College of the State University of New York (SUNY), and as President of SUNY’s Tompkins Cortland Community College. Dr. Martí also served as Executive Dean of Tunxis Community College and Acting President of Middlesex Community College, both located in Connecticut.