Philosophy doctoral candidate Paul Tubig is a 2018-2019 Mellon Fellow for Reaching New Publics, exploring community colleges as important pieces within the academic ecosystem both in their own right and in their partnership with large research institutions like the University of Washington. In a guest post in the Simpson Center for the Humanities' Reimagining the PhD Blog, Paul asks "What Kind of Academics Should We Be?"
A former community college student himself, Paul is now exploring community colleges from the perspective of a seasoned teacher and researcher, and notes a tension between his own respect for these institutions, and the lesser esteem afforded them by many PhDs. He worries that lack of appreciation for the role of community colleges in our society may drive some doctoral students to pass them over as potential places to build fulfilling careers. He explains:
"Community college, to my mind, has a dignified place in our educational landscape. If offers the real possibility of social mobility and empowerment to many underprivileged members of society who are ambitious and determined but face serious disadvantages. Cathy Davidson rightly notes that community colleges rank higher than elite four-year institutions in terms of their social mobility index, which measures the difference between the income level of college graduates and the income level of their families of origin. Further, community colleges are credited for interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline by allowing formerly incarcerated individuals to achieve a college education."
Read Paul's full blog post, "What Kind of Academics Should We Be?"