Forward thinking educators often find the opportunity for advancement in their careers, especially if they offer more dynamic solutions to issues that plague the education system. For a former New York City school chancellor named named Rudy Crew, his time spent with the New York City educational system propelled him to new career heights and gave him unique insight about where education issues originate. According a recent article, Crew, who is now the president of Medgar Evers College, has reignited his passion for New York students by starting The Pipeline Program, an initiative that aims to help better prepare students for college and beyond.
After assuming the position as the president of a prestigous college, Crew realized that research supported an explanation for a problem that he saw too often. Each year as he watched a new batch of eager freshman enter college, he also watched them flounder under the pressure of their course schedules. At Medgar Evers, where students are predominantly black and come from Brooklyn homes, fewer than one in five of those students would graduate in under six years.
“After decades of reading dropout data and work in Title I programs [for low-income students], you eventually start thinking, What is it about this issue of math and language illiteracy that we are unable to intersect and cure?” Said Crew in a recent interview.
By starting The Pipeline Program, Crew was able to partner with 80 New York City public schools in Central Brooklyn as they offer enrichment classes for students ages 6 to 14, early-college courses for high school students, and even supplemental training for teachers.
“This is a function of intentional programming and opportunities for people to learn the skills set to get in and take the exams and do well. If they were never taught it then they will never do well on the exam. Let’s put in place a runway that will lead up to those exams and schools.”
According to Medgar Evers college, since the program started, the percentage of freshmen who require remedial classes has fallen from 85 to 68 percent, the college says. As more and more students cycle through this inventive support system, only time will tell if Crew’s background and ambitious model can genuinely change the way we think about preparing students for college.