America’s Broken Promise: Bridging the Community College Achievement Gap

by Eduardo Martí

Foreword by John Ebersole













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ISBN: 978-1-944079-05-5 (print)

Pub Date: April 30, 2016

Price: $22.00 paperback
$9.99 e-book


Foreign rights available: World

Dr. Martí makes a convincing case for the need to improve; he defines a map for how institutions can create and fund a culture of care that will transform community colleges into student-centered institutions.”
 Dr. George R. Boggs, President and CEO Emeritus, American Association of Community Colleges

Most community college leaders, administrators, faculty, and policymakers take pride in knowing that community colleges are the only postsecondary institutions that promise to educate and prepare all interested Americans. Yet, they are often publicly criticized by politicians, tax payers, and fellow educators. In America’s Broken Promise, Dr. Eduardo Martí shows how community colleges have multiple, difficult, and often competing missions, particularly surrounding access and achievement rates. He reminds us that over half of those entering the community college “open door” are neither college ready nor intent upon graduation. He then critically traces the development of the unique role of community colleges in American society, differentiates them from selective-admission institutions, shows their success creating open access environments, then maps out new ways these institutions can come closer to fulfilling the achievement promise.

Dr. Eduardo Martí has served community colleges over thirty years, as interim president of Bronx Community College, Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges of the City University of New York, president emeritus Queensborough Community College, president of Corning Community College of the State University of New York (SUNY), and as President of SUNY’s Tompkins Cortland Community College.  Dr. Martí also served as Executive Dean of Tunxis Community College and Acting President of Middlesex Community College, both located in Connecticut.


“This remarkable book reminds us of our mission, and will help us to think clearly about the future of our community colleges, and to act quickly to improve student retention and graduation.” – Mary Ellen Duncan, PhD, Achieving the Dream, Leadership Coach and President Emerita, Howard Community College


“Faculty are trained to judge and weed out, but that needs to change. Secretaries and administrators need to act more like customer service and ask how they can help and not make students feel they don’t belong there. This needs to change. Some colleges are trying this, but not many are doing this holistically yet…”

Click here to listen to an interview with Dr. Marti as he explains how the community college mission of egalitarian education differs from selective-admission institutions, and how changing to an in loco parentis model can remove barriers to students who may be educationally prepared but not socially, emotionally, or financially.