The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) will partner with nonprofit research service Ithaka S+R and Northern Virginia Community College in an 18-month study that seeks to assess and improve library support systems within community colleges.
In addition to BMCC and lead investigator Northern Virginia Community College, five other community colleges, including three CUNY schools, will participate in the study. The project is funded by a $449,388 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program.
The project will explore how community college student success can be defined in a way that is inclusive of both policy priorities and students’ own needs. Project participants will also explore what services academic libraries can offer to most effectively help students attain success.
Ithaka S+R will publish two public research reports over the course of the project: one on community college student perspectives, practices, and needs; and a second report that will provide specific assessments of library service offerings that will be developed over the 18 months of the project.
BMCC together with the other study participants will also publish a toolkit that can be further adopted by both community colleges and community college systems to test these and other service concepts that are relevant to their student populations.
“We are very excited about this project as it seeks to assess and demonstrate the impact of library services on student success, said Kathleen Dreyer, chief librarian, BMCC. “Ultimately the grant will allow us to articulate the important role libraries have in student success and our role in the community,” she says.
Provost and Senior Vice President Karrin Wilks said “Our highest priority at BMCC is improving student success, and this project will contribute to that at our college as well as the national literature.”
On an even broader scale, the project seeks to strengthen the position of the nation's community college libraries as an anchor in the campus community. It will also help libraries collaborate more effectively with their partners and increase library contributions to student success.