COLLEGE PRESIDENTS SHARE THEIR VIEWS
Training for 21st Century at The City College of New York
As I cross City College’s beautiful campus at the beginning of the semester, I am more convinced than ever that higher education has never been more important than it is today. The jobs that are available in our 21st century society – the jobs that feed our families, and enable the young men and women of this city to transform their lives – increasingly demand content mastery and critical thinking skills that only higher education reliably provides.
And of course, New York City needs an educated, competitive workforce, as it needs the basic research and scholarship that will enable us to tackle today’s issues, from urban health disparities to sustainability to the economics of mass transit. City College has been meeting the needs of New Yorkers and New York City for generations, and it will continue to do so. But the scope and consequence of what we do at City College goes well beyond the education of our workforce or our contribution to the economic engine of New York. The challenges we face today require a citizenry that is truly at ease and conversant with the rich variety and interconnectedness of the world’s cultures and political and social environments.
This brings us to what I call the “City difference.” Every college and university in the nation talks about “diversity” – but at City College the range and depth of the different values, experiences, and interests that our students, faculty and community partners bring to the table are the foundation and the hallmark of a unique education. This is the true diversity that is inseparable from excellence, and you see it every day, in our studios, our labs, our lecture halls, and on our lawns. Half of City’s 16,000 students were born abroad – they represent the world’s religions, histories and languages. This great variety of points-of-view that our students bring to CCNY vastly enriches their experience, both in class and outside of it, and they in their turn enrich the College. It’s one of the reasons so many of our distinguished faculty members love to teach here. It’s one of the reasons that I came to City College. And it’s one of the reasons so many of our students go on to meet the challenges of our times. #