Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles – Support That Matters – April 14, 2017
In just over four short weeks, we will celebrate graduation at our 69th Annual Commencement scheduled on May 18 at 6 pm. The college is abuzz as plans are underway for the ceremony. Your work helps our students succeed!
The smiles that we give to students, the simple question of “how may I help you?” and the lively discussions in classrooms are actions that make the college a welcoming space for students. Thank you for supporting our May graduates through these final weeks of study and for encouraging continuing students as they prepare for summer and fall classes.
We had many media and campus queries this week regarding the Excelsior Scholarship (https://www.ny.gov/programs/tuition-free-degree-program-excelsior-scholarship). Like many of the colleges in both SUNY and CUNY, we are in the process of reviewing regulations and details on the roll out of this program, which promises to be a significant resource for many of our students. While the Excelsior Scholarship will provide tuition, we know the greatest expense to our students is in the total cost of attendance, which includes housing, meals, and every day expenses while balancing the challenges of other domestic needs.
Just last week there was a feature story in The New York Times (https://nyti.ms/2o9wJGA) on homelessness while in college that outlined the tenuous situation of a student enrolled in community college while living in shelters. We know of stories of our own students who face housing and food insecurity. Our Foundation is committed to continuing their work of providing aid to students in need – including part-time students – and as the Excelsior program is implemented, we will continue to evaluate the needs of our students and how best to foster an environment for their success. This is a great moment for our mission driven work of access and excellence. Stay tuned as we learn more about the program and ready the college for any programming impact that may occur based on a growing market for students here and at our extension centers.
As we gear up for commencement season, take a moment to congratulate a graduate that you meet in your daily activities. Also, take time to commend a colleague or team member for their role in supporting our students. We have much to celebrate!
Dr. Belinda S. Miles