Open-Admissions_cover-041717-1Last week, I received a Facebook Message from someone who wanted to share her thoughts about Open Admissions: What Teaching at Community College Taught Me About Learning. Her note and subsequent email message made my day.

Former community college teacher Sue Cassidy had read about the book in the Sunday Maine Telegram.

Having taught at Maine’s York County Community College, she found in the book a world that she knew well and that she believes others should know more about. “Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down,” she wrote. “I have let several of my past colleagues know about it and plan on spreading the word even further.”

On a cold spring morning a few days after having knee replacement surgery, her message put a spring in my step—at least, figuratively.

I loved that a fellow CC teacher had learned about the book and that it meant something to her. And that this former teacher still felt passionately about her vocation.

She indicated that she was going to pass it along to her husband, former president at Washington County Community College, and Vice Chair of the Maine Community College System Trustees.

Sue Cassidy’s kind act of tracking down the author of a book was a turning point in my day, for sure. We all need those kinds of pick-ups, especially first-generation college students and their teachers. Because she took the time to read about a book then order it and read it, and because her engagement moved her to respond to the author and to share her reaction with potential readers, other people in the world know a little bit more about nontraditional students and the colleges that serve them.

Thank you, Sue!


Ned Bachus is the author of Open Admissions: What Teaching at Community College Taught Me About Learning (Wild River Books, 2017) and of the “Turning Points” weekly blog on City of Brotherly Love (Fleur-de-Lis Books), his book of stories, was awarded the 2013 IPPY Gold Medal for Literary Fiction. Bachus’s article, “Learning From Turning Points in Our Teaching Lives,” will be featured in the May issue of NEA Higher Education Advocate, which reaches over 150,000 college faculty in the U.S.