A Successful School, a Progressive Target

Allysia Finley:

Monroe College is a higher-education success story. Believe it or not, progressives want to shut it down.

Founded in 1933, it focuses on practical learning: There are no seminars on intersectionality or cultural appropriation, no rock-climbing walls, organic vegetable gardens or ethnic theme houses. In other respects, Monroe is similar to other small colleges. It has dining halls, libraries, student clubs and a Title IX coordinator. “I have 850 athletes, 1,000 people in dormitories, 1,000 foreign students,” says Marc Jerome, Monroe’s president and something of a force of nature, on a recent visit to the Journal’s offices. “We look and feel like a traditional college—an urban college.” Its main campus in the Bronx, on New York City’s northern rim, and it has sites in nearby New Rochelle and the Caribbean nation of Saint Lucia.

Monroe provides training in fields like information technology, nursing and culinary arts, and its student outcomes are exemplary. A Monroe student is 10 times as likely to graduate on time as one who enrolls at a nearby community college, and the college’s 3.9% student-loan default rate is among the lowest in the state. It also ranks among the top three colleges in New York for graduating Latino and black students.