Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles – Great news this week! – March 10, 2017
We received notification yesterday that MSCHE voted affirmatively at its March meeting to accept our Monitoring Report. The report provided evidence of the work we have begun to address operational irregularities and improve long neglected basic policies and practices that support teaching, learning, and institutional sustainability. While we are still very much a work-in-progress, our visiting teams in 2015 and 2016 expressed confidence in the work underway to improve outcomes for our students and institution. Tens of millions of dollars in federal and state student aid would have been at stake for our institution if accreditation was in jeopardy. Instead, we have taken the right steps to become a stronger, more vibrant place of learning. These steps lead to improved student success and even greater academic achievement.
We have laid a strong foundation for our future work together at Westchester Community College. We must remain organized and focused on our improvement plan in order to prepare a follow-up report due in 2018. Our students and community deserve our very best which we are now well positioned to deliver.
I thank everyone who contributed to our improvements and to the report that documented our progress. Special thanks also to Profs. Paul Robinson and Laurel Senft and members of the various standards teams and writing groups. Thanks, too, to Dr. Peggy Bradford who is an expert in accreditation and the processes that demonstrate real accomplishments toward institutional effectiveness. The successful response from Middle States allows us to continue to help our students and our community thrive. The following are a few highlights of our students thriving this week:
- Our Phi Theta Kappa Student Honor Society, Alpha Iota Omicron Chapter, has been named a 2017 REACH Chapter and will be receiving special recognition from PTK. This award recognizes chapters that have excelled at membership development. This year, chapter officers or members will have stoles to wear during graduation and to keep as a memento of this milestone of college completion. Way to go Robin Graff and our engaged PTK students!
- Our students are grabbing headlines in the 3rd Annual #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl. The County Executive featured prominently a team from Westchester Community College that is developing an app called “Connect Care,” which shares information about a person’s care plan and other activities between caregivers and family members. This year’s event attracted more than 440 students from the region and abroad. We are proud of our students and their faculty members for staying on the cutting edge of technology and app development.
- SUNY will honor eight of our students for their achievements with Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence at a ceremony scheduled for April 5 in Albany.
Finally, kudos to our Athletics Department and all of the other areas that supported the NJCAA Region XV Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships last week for an outstanding showing as hosts of this tournament. I was very proud of the high levels of service and for showcasing the college so well.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles