2018 Conference

Community College and the Future of the Humanities

Convened by LaGuardia Community College and The Graduate Center,
The City University of New York
October 18 and 19, 2018

Community colleges are redefining the importance and centrality of the humanities to the lives of the “new majority” of students, both during their academic careers and after graduation. To explore and celebrate the role of humanities within community colleges and across the broader landscape of higher education, the CUNY Humanities Alliance hosted a special conference for college students, graduate students, faculty, and administrators in Fall 2018. This interactive, participation-focused conference featured a wide diversity of voices, perspectives and positions, with a focus on students, faculty and staff with direct experience in community colleges.

About the Conference

This conference provided an opportunity to explore humanities teaching in community colleges and how the humanities affects the daily lives and career choices of the “new majority” students enrolled in community colleges. The conference focused on the critical importance of community colleges in the landscape of higher education, and examined the human, structural, and institutional barriers faced by community college students and faculty.

We further explored the possible connections between graduate education and community college teaching. Given that more than 50% of undergraduate students attend community colleges, doctoral students stand to benefit from preparation for careers at community colleges and other teaching-intensive institutions. The CUNY Humanities Alliance and other similarly-focused programs supported by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation serve as case studies of innovative partnerships between research institutions and community colleges committed to providing the next generation of scholars and educators with a grounded understanding of the theory and practice of student-centered pedagogies.

The conference included keynote addresses and interactive workshops in which participants shared their experiences with, approaches to, and ideas about the following topics:

  • Innovative Pedagogies: Community College Pedagogy and Curricula in the Humanities
  • Transfer and Continuity: Pathways between Community and Four-year Colleges
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Learning and Life Circumstances of the “New Majority” College Student
  • Value of Humanities: examining, articulating, and affirming humanities education in the lives and careers of students, and for the broader public
  • Research and Professional Pathways: Connecting interests, research, teaching, and professional development

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