Video Posted from Mapping The Futures of Higher Education Session 2 – Feb. 10, 2015

On February 10, 2015 we opened the second session of Mapping the Futures of Higher Education with a discussion and Q&A session on William Kelly’s “Forgotten Alternatives” and Cathy Davidson’s “Changing Higher Ed from the Classroom Up”

Highlights form the discussion:

  • Issue of preparation before students get to college—biggest indicator of whether they will graduate. CUNY schools provide underprepared students a big lift. Least prepared students are entering community colleges; student issues related to academic performance are often attributed to socioeconomic backgrounds and family dynamics more than ambition and intelligence. “Heartache and heartburn are far more distracting than e-mail.” Students have a different level of attention when issues are weighing on us…duress is documentable.
  • Preparation maps along economic lines may show differences in SES and academic performance.
  • Student debt crises is a national issues; it has kept people at all levels from participating in higher ed…carrying a student debt burden is difficult and not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  At CUNY more than 80% graduate debt free.
  • Our policies haven’t evolved to meet the realities of new life and work situations.

To hear the entire discussion and Q&A see our YouTube video of the event:

About Michael Dorsch

Michael is a doctoral student specializing in geography in the Earth and Environmental Sciences program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He teaches in the Department of Geography at Hunter College, CUNY and also conducts research with the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay. His research interests include using tools from geographic information systems and techniques from analytic cartography to visualize social and environmental inequities related to negative environmental exposures from energy production and industrial/post-industrial sites. Michael blogs on issues related to society/environment interactions, and his full CV is available at