New Book:  Chet Jordan – “Establishing an Experimental Community College in the United States”


Dear Commons Community,

I have just finished reading Chet Jordan’s Establishing an Experimental Community College in the United States: Challenges, Successes, and Implications for Higher Education.  It is an in-depth case study of the development of Guttman Community College, established by the City University of New York with the aim of increasing two-year completion rates. Jordan has done a masterful piece of commentary on the difficulties that Guttman has had since it admitted its first students in 2012.  Jordan provides an insider’s view having joined the faculty in 2017, and details the academic and administrative reforms undertaken at Guttman.  He examines a range of curricular, administrative structure, governance and policy issues that were unique to the school. Most importantly, he offers critical commentary on why the reforms failed to bring the expected results.

Jordan describes his work as follows:

“This book offers a harsh critique of the institution.  This analysis is to plainly illustrate how structural inequities in higher education form and how they survive.  It is also a portrait of how they can change.”

The publisher, Routledge/Taylor & Francis, accurately summarizes the book as follows:

“In a series of comprehensive and insightful chapters, Jordan maps the process of implementation and reform at Guttman Community College. In doing so, he explores the shortcomings of the Guttman enterprise, and offers in-depth analysis of the causes and implications of a failure to account for the local context and student population in planning and implementation phases. This unique, historical narrative thus offers important insights into pitfalls and best practices around issues of racial inequity, governance and leadership, curriculum development, student support services, and data-driven decision making. Each chapter concludes with a section focusing specifically on implications for the post-secondary system more broadly to inform effective, appropriate, and inclusive college reform.”

There will be a book launch panel presentation (see the notice above) on September 28th.

I highly recommend this book and the presentation (via Zoom) to administrators, faculty, researchers and policymakers interested in community college reform.


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