History

Established on September 20, 2011, with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s approval of A Master Plan Amendment, The New Community College at CUNY was the University’s first new community college in more than 40 years. The second community college in Manhattan was inspired by Chancellor Matthew Goldstein’s interest in improving graduation rates for CUNY’s diverse urban students with a wide range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. “There is no more urgent task in higher education than to find ways to help more community college students succeed,” the Chancellor has said.

The New Community College at CUNY officially opened its doors in midtown Manhattan overlooking Bryant Park on August 20, 2012, after four years of planning in consultation with experts from around the country and hundreds of faculty and staff across the University. At the college’s inaugural Convocation, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein awarded Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg the prestigious Chancellor’s Medal from The City University of New York for his support and commitment to the development of this innovative new college. In accepting the medal the Mayor commented, “I think this school has the potential to be a game-changing model for community colleges across the country.”

The New Community College enrolled its inaugural class of 300 students in the fall of 2012. As an open-admissions institution, the college accepts applicants who have a high school diploma or a GED. Enrollment will grow to approximately 5,000 when the college moves to its permanent home at 59th Street and 10th Avenue.

Learn more about the development of the college by reading the New Community College Concept Paper, the case study Rethinking Community College for the 21st Century and other college planning documents from 2008-2010.

In April 2013 The City University of New York received a $25 million gift from the Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation to support The New Community College at CUNY and two other community college initiatives to boost student retention and graduation rates.  In honor of the $15 million endowment gift to the college, the foundation’s largest and the largest ever given to a New York State community college, the CUNY Board of Trustees passed a resolution to rename The New Community College Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. <pdf> The gift will provide support for activities such as paid internships, community service and experiential learning and for scholarships and student emergency funds.

The Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation focuses much of its grantmaking on educational programs and social services to support low-income New York City children, youth and families. The son of immigrants, Charles Guttman was raised on the Lower East Side and attended public school until age 13, when he began working odd jobs to help support his family. In adulthood he built a successful business, The Paddington Corp. In 1959, he and his wife, Stella Rappaport Guttman, established the Guttman Foundation for the “improvement and benefit of mankind, and the alleviation of human suffering.” Upon their deaths in 1969, without leaving descendants, the Guttmans bequeathed substantially all of their assets to the Foundation.

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