PBS News Hour Spotlights LaGuardia Community College

PBS News Hour Spotlights LaGuardia Community College

by Nichole Shippen, LaGuardia Community College

Political science PhDs are increasingly teaching in tenure track positions at community colleges across the United States. For this reason, the American Political Science Association now has a Committee on the Status of Community Colleges in the Profession, which works to create an inclusive culture for community college faculty within political science, increase community college faculty membership, build relationships across higher education institutions, and recommend programming to address the unique needs of community college faculty. As an active member of this committee, Associate Professor of Political Science, Nichole Marie Shippen brings her experience on teaching at LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) to the discussion. The President of LaGuardia Community College, Gail O. Mellow, a leading voice in advocating for community college students, wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times titled “The Biggest Misconception About Today’s College Students,” which has recently been followed up by Hari Sreenivasan’s PBS News Hour segment on LaGuardia, “Filling in this Perception Gap Can Help Low-Income Students Succeed,” which helps us all better understand what it means to be a college student in America today. The reality is sobering. Community college students struggle to raise families, work and attend college. Despite enormous obstacles, they persist, determined to make a better life for themselves and their families. LaGuardia’s work is impressive. A Stanford University study ranked LaGuardia 5th in the nation in creating economic mobility for low-income students. Changing society’s perception of who attends college is an essential step to leveling the playing field so that every hard working student has a shot at achieving their dreams.