Gail Mellow on Broadening Access and Strengthening Engagement with the Humanities at LaGuardia Community College

Gail Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College, on the skills and experience the faculty at LaGuardia Community College bring to their students and mentees.

"I think the best teaching happens when faculty are challenged to reach a student body that does have a life experience different than their own."

Students from more than 145 countries come to LaGuardia Community College each year, and 77 percent of those living away from their parents have an annual family income of less than $25,000. With over 45,000 students, and a faculty whose doctoral degree attainment is twice the national average, LaGuardia is considered a critical voice on behalf of the national community college system.

In this video, LaGuardia Community College president Gail Mellow reflects on the valuable skills and experiences that her faculty bring to their diverse student body as they broaden access and strengthen engagement in the humanities for undergraduates. “There really still exists a pretty profound bias against the kind of education that happens at community colleges,” says Mellow. “When I look at the faculty at LaGuardia, they’re extraordinary in what they bring...having taught to a very different kind of student.”


Community Colleges and the Humanities in the 21st Century


Executive Vice President Mariët Westermann on a new Mellon initiative to support community college students, and why nurturing the next generation of humanities scholars has broad implications for the country.

More In This Series

College for Everyone: Cathy Davidson on The CUNY Humanities Alliance

The CUNY Humanities Alliance was launched in 2014 and is dedicated to training PhD students in the most successful methods for teaching humanities courses to diverse undergraduates. Cathy Davidson, who co-directs the program, spoke with us about The CUNY Graduate Center’s unique partnership with LaGuardia Community College.


From Theory to Practice: Learning How to Teach the Humanities

Anton Kociolek, one of nine 2017 CUNY Humanities Alliance Fellows, spoke with us about how he built an effective humanities-driven curriculum with support from LaGuardia Community College faculty mentor Emmanuel Nartey.