The Stella and Charles Guttman Community College


Established on September 20, 2011, with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s approval of A Master Plan Amendment, The New Community College at CUNY was the University’s first new community college in more than 40 years. The second community college in Manhattan was inspired by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein’s interest in improving graduation rates for CUNY’s diverse urban students with a wide range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. “There is no more urgent task in higher education than to find ways to help more community college students succeed,” the Chancellor has said.

The New Community College at CUNY officially opened its doors in midtown Manhattan overlooking Bryant Park on August 20, 2012, after four years of planning in consultation with experts from around the country and hundreds of faculty and staff across the University. At the college’s inaugural Convocation, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein awarded Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg the prestigious Chancellor’s Medal from The City University of New York for his support and commitment to the development of this innovative new college. In accepting the medal the Mayor commented, “I think this school has the potential to be a game-changing model for community colleges across the country.”

The New Community College enrolled its inaugural class of 300 students in the fall of 2012. As an open-admissions institution, the college accepts applicants who have a high school diploma or a GED. Enrollment will grow to approximately 5,000 when the college moves to its permanent home at 59th Street and 10th Avenue.

In April 2013 The City University of New York received a $25 million gift from the Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation to support The New Community College at CUNY and two other community college initiatives to boost student retention and graduation rates.  In honor of the $15 million endowment gift to the college, the foundation’s largest and the largest ever given to a New York State community college, the CUNY Board of Trustees passed a resolution to rename The New Community College Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. The gift will provide support for activities such as paid internships, community service and experiential learning and for scholarships and student emergency funds.

What’s NEW about Guttman Community College?

•             A multi-step admissions process is designed to help students determine if the College is the right fit to address their educational needs and career aspirations.

•             A mandatory 12-day Summer Bridge Program helps incoming students transition from high school to college-level work and introduces them to Guttman’s educational model requiring full-time attendance in the first year.

•             A first-year core curriculum contextualizes skills development in credit-bearing coursework, with embedded advisement from professional staff and Peer Mentors.

•             Academic and student services are integrated to support progress and timely degree attainment.

•             A limited number of programs of study with well-defined pathways to degree, transfer and/or careers:  Business Administration (A.A.); Information Technology (A.A.S.); Liberal Arts & Sciences (A.A.); Human Services (A.A.); Urban Studies (A.A.); and Health Information Technology (A.A.S.) beginning in fall 2013. Programs in Energy Services Management (A.A.S) and Environmental Science (A.S) will be offered once enrollments grow sufficiently to support additional majors.

•             A Center for College Effectiveness fosters a culture of collaboration between faculty and staff and focuses on continual improvement through integrated assessment, institutional research and professional development initiatives. 

•             An Office of Partnerships and Community Engagement establishes links among the college, its students and faculty, and internal and external partners, including businesses, non-profit organizations, and government entities.

What’s at stake?

•             Less than 20% of community college students nationally earn an associate’s degree within three years of enrollment. Guttman Community College aims to achieve an initial three-year graduation rate of 35%.

•             Economic advancement for the majority of low‐income and minority students is determined by community colleges, where most of these students begin but do not often enough complete their higher education.

If Guttman Community College is successful in achieving its mission of substantially increasing degree attainment among those least likely to persist in higher education, it will make a tangible and enduring contribution to New York City and will be a model for improving community college education within CUNY and nationally.

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