Policy Change and Access to 2- and 4-Year Colleges:The Case of the City University of New York
AbstractHigher education grew spectacularly over the last half of the 20th century. The process of growth has been contested. As ethnic minorities and women mobilized to promote broader access, processes of countermobilization developed, exemplified by debates about academic excellence. One example is the 17-campus system of the City University of New York (CUNY). In 1970, it launched a policy of open admissions. The program created unusual access to baccalaureate programs. It was quite successful in enhancing educational and labor market attainments. It was especially important in improving minority students' chances. Nonetheless, the program was attacked relentlessly, especially in terms of access to its baccalaureate programs. With the advent of conservative political leadership in New York City and State, CUNY's policy has ended. In the future, a higher proportion of entering fresh- men will be placed in community colleges. It may be expected that educational and economic attainments will be diminished.