College History

Then AND Now

LaGuardia Community College opened its doors to higher education to all in 1971. Learn more about the College’s history as a bold, innovative catalyst for social change and educational equality in the 20th and 21st centuries.

What If?

LaGuardia Community College was founded in 1971 in response to the City University of New York’s (CUNY) query: “What if we made CUNY’s founding principle – opening the doors of higher education to all – a reality?” The burgeoning Civil Rights movement of the 1960s drove nationwide protests that spilled from college campuses to the streets, as disenfranchised groups demanded social and economic equality. CUNY instituted an open admissions policy for all graduates of New York City high schools in 1970 and saw that year’s freshman enrollment nearly double.

Learn how LaGuardia Community College opens doors of opportunity for students and our community.


Times change, and so did LaGuardia. With faculty and staff so keenly attuned to students’ continually evolving needs, it’s not surprising that our programs were perennial recipients of national awards, accolades, and grants.

Our Adult and Continuing Education’s exceptional ESL program laid a path for thousands of immigrants seeking better lives for themselves and their families, and our array of programs for veterans welcomed men and women from all branches of the military who had served in the Persian Gulf War and were seeking a supportive place to fulfill their educational goals. Our allied health programs grew exponentially, while our Nursing and Veterinary Technician programs began to receive recognition as among the best in the state of New York, an honor that holds true to this day.

Challenge Expectations

The LaGuardia Community College Foundation helps make a difference in students’ lives, bringing together faculty, staff, alumni, friends of the College and members of the local business community to give students the means to achieve their dreams. Since its founding in 2003, the Foundation has millions of dollars for student scholarships and emergency funds, and to support initiatives aimed at enhancing student success.

LaGuardia and Wagner Archives

The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives was established in 1982 to collect, preserve, and make available primary materials documenting the social and political history of New York City. The Archives serves a broad array of researchers: journalists, students, scholars, exhibit planners and policymakers examining the history of Greater New York. The Archives also produces public programs exploring that history.