LaGuardia Community College Featured in IHEP Case Studies of Minority-Serving Institutions

LaGuardia Community College Featured in IHEP Case Studies of Minority-Serving Institutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 28, 2024) — The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) has just published a report featuring LaGuardia Community College/CUNY as an institution offering actionable strategies for increasing value in postsecondary education.

Institutional policies and practices shape which students have access to college, who persists and completes, who borrows, and who experiences economic and social mobility. In new case studies, IHEP spotlights how two Minority-Serving Institutions – LaGuardia Community College and the University of North Texas – employ innovative strategies that help more students receive measurable returns on their investment in higher education.

Using the Equitable Value Explorer, an interactive data dashboard that allows users to analyze and compare student outcomes, IHEP found that the typical student at both UNT and LaGuardia meets the minimum economic return – meaning they earn at least as much as a high school graduate in their state plus enough to recoup their investment within ten years. Students who leave these campuses also tend to have post-college earnings that exceed the median earnings for their degree level in their state.

UNT’s median earnings also exceed an economic mobility threshold. The typical UNT student earnings exceed the 60th percentile of earnings for prime-age workers in Texas. Institutions of all types can look to the Equitable Value Explorer to assess the economic value they provide to students. to assess the economic value they provide to students.

The new case studies are informed by interviews with administrators, faculty, staff, and students at both institutions, and share lessons other institutions can apply to strengthen student-centered and data- informed approaches to promoting student success. The research offers recommendations including fostering a student-centered approach, utilizing data to drive informed decision-making, and proactively identifying and removing barriers that hinder student success.

Believing in the Potential of Every Student: A Case Study on LaGuardia Community College

LaGuardia Community College, a public two-year institution located in Long Island City, New York, exemplifies a commitment to student-centered learning.

“If we really believe in the potential of each individual student, no matter where they come from and where they want to go, what they want to get out of their LaGuardia experience—we have to be committed to helping them realize their full potential,” said President Kenneth Adams.

LaGuardia’s success hinges on several key strategies:

Prioritize a student-centered culture: Building and maintaining a student-centered culture requires leaders who explicitly commit to and embody this mindset in every facet of their work. Where an institution invests its money, time, and energy shapes students’ experiences. Leaders at LaGuardia encourage collaboration between administrators, faculty, and staff to explore the impact of policies and practices through a student lens.

Leverage data to drive change and innovation: LaGuardia utilizes data analytics to identify areas for improvement and implement targeted interventions. As one example, data on enrollment trends helped pinpoint students in nondegree programs who were potential candidates for degree programs and provide the students with additional support.

Proactively identify barriers and take opportunities to smooth student pathways: At LaGuardia, this includes establishing connections between nondegree and academic programs, developing articulation agreements with four-year institutions, and ensuring that students have targeted supports before, during, and after transition points.

Creating a Culture of Data Use: A Case Study on the University of North Texas

The University of North Texas (UNT), a public four-year Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), exemplifies how data-driven decision-making can improve outcomes for all students. Revamping its data infrastructure led to several improvements and key lessons:

Use disaggregated data to inform outcome-driven decision-making: UNT created a centralized data system integrating information from various departments to allow for a more holistic view of student progress. Disaggregated data can reveal opportunities to make policy and practice changes that ensure all students succeed.

Consider everyone on campus a data user and design systems to meet their needs: UNT deliberately engages stakeholders across campus — faculty, staff, and administrators – to use data in their day-to-day work serving students. The university provides training and support to equip staff with data analysis skills.

Invest in culture as well as data tools and systems: Data tools are just that—tools individuals must use effectively to produce strong student outcomes. UNT’s Insights 2.0 project ensured stakeholders across campus had the training, capacity, and support to use data to make informed and student-centered decisions.

“The data is just data; that’s not going to change your institution, just by having data. It’s having literacy around the data. It’s having people know how to understand what data means,” said Jason Simon, Associate Vice President for Data, Analytics, and Institutional Research. Taking inspiration from these campuses, leaders, faculty, and staff at institutions of all types and sizes can intentionally construct valuable learning experiences, increase graduation rates, and strengthen career pathways to ensure all students develop the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to be successful in work and life.

PLEASE NOTE: Press release written and provided by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP).

• • • •

LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


Press Information

For press information, please contact: