The Futures Initiative advocates greater equity and innovation in higher education at every level of the university. Housed at the Graduate Center and reaching throughout the CUNY community, the Futures Initiative empowers the next generation of intellectual leaders with bold, public, and engaged teaching and learning. With an emphasis on student-centered practices, the Futures Initiative redefines graduate preparation to include translation of specialized research into the best undergraduate teaching, including for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Futures Initiative also fosters greater understanding of the complexities of the higher education landscape by spearheading data-driven research in areas critical to institutional change. Through HASTAC@CUNY (a hub of the online network Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), the Futures Initiative extends its collaborative peer-to-peer practices across institutions, disciplines, national boundaries, and economic and social disparities, promoting reinvestment in higher education as a public good.
- Learn more about our team of faculty, staff, and graduate fellows.
- Visit the Future’s Initiative’s page on the Graduate Center’s website.
- Read about our research initiatives.
- CUNY Faculty and graduate students, connect with our group on CUNY Academic Commons.
In the 2015-2016 academic year, we will expand our program to offer five team-taught courses in a number of different disciplines, reaching as many as 90 graduate students and 1,800 undergraduates. The courses will be taught by CUNY faculty based at the Graduate Center as well as Brooklyn College, City College, LaGuardia Community College, Lehman College, and Queens College. The focus across all of the courses will be Diversity, Access, and Equity Across the Curriculum. We are delighted that the faculty members listed below will be joining the program as Faculty Fellows.
- Kandice Chuh (Graduate Center, English) and Sujatha Fernandes (Queens College, Sociology) – “Encountering Cuba” – Global race, postcoloniality, cultural expression
- Ofelia Garcia (Graduate Center, Urban Education and Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages) and Carmina Makar (City College, Teaching Learning and Culture) – CUNY language diversity and global language learning policies
- Anna Stetsenko (Graduate Center, Psychology/Urban Education) and Eduardo Vianna (Social Sciences, LaGuardia Community College) – “Agency and Social Transformation: Increasing Equity in Education and Beyond”- Student-centered pedagogy, psychology
- David Forbes (Brooklyn College, School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership) and Gillian Bayne (Lehman College, STEM Education) – Mindfulness in STEM education
- Cathy N. Davidson (Graduate Center, Futures Initiative and English) and William Kelly (Graduate Center, President Emeritus and University Distinguished Professor), “American Literature, American Learning”
In tandem with the courses listed above, the Futures Initiative will partner with HASTAC to offer workshops, webinars, and online reading groups designed to tie student-centered, engaged pedagogical practices to institutional change and social justice. We will pay special attention to race, gender, diversity, equity, and inequality—and to rethinking the higher education we so urgently need now.
All are welcome to contribute to this conversation. Each month, we’ll tackle a different theme. Graduate and undergraduate students from CUNY, Duke, the community of HASTAC Scholars, and other partner institutions will post readings, host online discussion groups, and encourage debate and actions on these timely topics. We will share details on the Futures Initiative and HASTAC websites about how to participate in each event and conversation that we host.
Are you organizing an event that relates to any of the themes we’ll cover this year? Or something that addresses the spirit of the series as a whole? Tell us about it so that we can help publicize it and make it a part of the University Worth Fighting For. Higher Education is under attack on many fronts—and yet it also needs massive transformation. This series looks in both directions at once, renewing support for education as a civic good while also advocating educational reform.
We believe in higher education. Join us as we engage with and amplify these key issues in the classroom and beyond.
In Spring 2015, Futures Initiative Director Cathy Davidson and Graduate Center President Emeritus William Kelly taught Mapping the Futures of Higher Education, a radically interdisciplinary graduate class and network of undergraduate classes involving more than 365 students across ten CUNY colleges. Though the subject matter varied from one class to another, all used peer pedagogy to achieve the best student outcomes while also building a strong community. Learn more...