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ERIC Number: EJ839437
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov-13
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
All in a Decades Work
Branch-Brioso, Karen
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v25 n20 p14-15 Nov 2008
In this article, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College's longtime president Dolores Fernandez reflects on her journey through academia and helping other Hispanics reach the top. In 1998, Dr. Dolores Fernandez was exactly where she wanted to be as a tenured, full-time professor at Hunter College, the largest in the City University of New York system (CUNY). Then she got a call asking her to leave Manhattan and take the helm of Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, CUNY's troubled bilingual community college in the South Bronx. Fernandez initially said no. CUNY's chancellor called her to his office to try to change her mind, but it was a Black History Month speech at Hunter that made the difference. A Black minister from the Bronx looked at the comfortable academics and challenged them: Look at your communities. Do the people living there now have the same advantages you had? Fernandez started crying. She called the chancellor to tell him she'd lead Hostos for an interim basis. More than 10 years later--nine of them as Hostos' permanent president--Fernandez, has announced she'll step down once a replacement is named. When Fernandez took over as interim president, Hostos faced potential closure. Its prior president resigned after she was accused of allowing students to graduate without being able to read or write English. She came in vowing that every graduate would pass the English-language exam. The exam has since changed and students have more time to take it. But Fernandez, a big believer in bilingual education, also shook up Hostos' bilingual approach to try to save it. The New York Times reported that the pass rate for the writing exam was 9 percent when Fernandez first took over as president. According Hostos Director of Institutional Research Richard D. Gampert, the passing rate for the exam that replaced the CUNY writing exam was 44.5 percent last year. Students who take a remedial writing course are required to take the test. The highest passage rate during Fernandez' tenure came in 2004, when 46.7 percent of those students passed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)