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ERIC Number: EJ765201
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Open Admissions, Controversies, and CUNY: Digging into Social History through a First-Year Composition Course
Tsao, Ting Man
History Teacher, v38 n4 p469-482 Aug 2005
In 1999, the City University of New York (CUNY) abolished remedial programs in its four-year colleges and began to rely on standardized test scores as criteria both for exiting remediation and for admission to bachelor's programs. By doing that, the university has in effect eradicated its three-decade-old "open admissions" policy, argue CUNY watchers (Crain; Lavin; Reitano; cf. Beaky). This policy change has also sharpened the distinction between community colleges and senior colleges, and increased roadblocks on the education path from a two-year college to a bachelor's program with CUNY. As a professor at LaGuardia Community College of CUNY, what worries the author most about this large institutional shift is not only the narrowing of access to higher education for New York's diverse populations, but also the general ignorance and nonchalance among students about open admissions as a social policy that over the years has made a difference in the lives of countless people. In response to students' unawareness of open enrollment issues, the author recently developed and implemented a first-year composition syllabus around the history of CUNY's open admissions. Admittedly, this history, which involves a series of thorny, complicated, and entangled social issues over a span of 35 years, makes a very challenging theme for an introductory writing course. In this article, the author describes how he designed the course on this still debated subject and his experience in teaching the course.
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York