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Higher Education and Upward Mobility

posted Feb 12, 2017, 6:59 PM by Emily Tai   [ updated Feb 13, 2017, 7:41 PM by Jay Weiser ]
By Emily Tai 

Last Monday evening, a conference/panel at the CUNY Graduate Center presented more findings from the recent study mentioned in a recent New York Times article, discussing the impact of public higher education on economic mobility. Higher Education and Intergenerational Mobility featured the study’s author, Raj Chetty, Professor of Economics at Stanford University; CUNY Graduate Center Presidential Professors Philip Kasinitz (Sociology) and Leslie McCall (Sociology and Political Science) and CUNY Chancellor J.B. Milliken.

The session presented the most inspiring conclusion of Chetty’s research: that CUNY campuses propel almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all eight Ivy League campuses combined.

Such findings demonstrate the way that the 21st century City University continues to live up to the high ideals of its mission, first articulated by Townsend Harris in founding the Free Academy that became City College in 1847, to “educate the whole people,” and, as stated in the New York Education Law, to provide “academic excellence,” and “equal access and opportunity for students, faculty and staff from all ethnic and racial groups.”

Emily S. Tai is a professor of History at Queensborough Community College who serves on the UFS Executive Committee, and edits the UFS Blog.

The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view.

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