On June 1, 2017, representatives from Westchester Community College met with fathers participating in Westchester County’s Fatherhood Initiative program at the Family Services of Westchester office in Yonkers, New York. This Department of Social Services initiative works with unemployed and underemployed men to improve their job skills, hone their parenting skills, and help to ensure that the fathers are able to meet financial and personal responsibilities to their families. Westchester Community College President Belinda S. Miles, an avid supporter of this initiative, indicated that “Westchester Community College’s staff is well equipped, well informed, and ready to work with fathers seeking access to opportunity through education.”
Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, and Commissioner of Social Services Kevin M. McGuire, addressed the fathers, both resolute in their support of this program with a commitment to scale the program. The fathers shared very personal life stories illustrating their struggles as well as their hope for a future with financial independence and closer ties to their families.
Danielle DiGrazia, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, spearheaded the presentation by Westchester Community College, which showcased the many educational opportunities available at the College. Asst. Dean DiGrazia was joined by Dr. Nicola Blake, Office of the President, Joanne Conway, Director of JobSTAR, Ginny Falcone, Financial Aid Counselor, Osahon Izevbizua, Westchester Educational Opportunity Center, Don Simmons, Black/Hispanic Male Initiative, and Donald Whitely, Admissions.
This partnership further builds on the college’s work in the community to extend access to educational opportunities through certifications, degree programs, or course and training refreshers. President Miles, who champions Workforce Development in the Hudson Valley Region, reiterated the college’s capacity to serve its mission of access and excellence. “The college is poised to grow these types of initiatives and looks forward to continued collaborations to support the educational needs of Westchester County residents in the future. We have a wide range of support services, financial aid resources, and industry partners focused on helping students achieve their goals. I invite individuals and agencies to learn more about the dynamic academic and workforce training programs available at Westchester Community College” stated President Miles.
There will be no access to MyWCC June 9 at 6:00 am until Monday, June 12 at 12 noon due to software upgrades. Current and perspective students will be unable to access MyWCC and will be unable to register for classes or make payments. Thank you for your patience while we enhance our online resources.
The state’s free tuition program is now a reality. The application for free fall tuition is now available and is due by July 21. Click here for application. Individuals in households with incomes less than $100,000 may qualify for free tuition from Westchester Community College and all other SUNY schools starting this fall. Click below for details on how you can pursue your dream of college education…for free.
Commencement 2017 was held on Thursday, May 18 at 6:00 p.m.
View commencement video highlights here: http://www.sunywcc.edu/academics/graduation/
Westchester Community College’s commencement ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the County Center Building in White Plains. Approximately 2,000 students will be granted degrees, making it one of the largest graduating classes in the history of the college. The commencement speech will be given by Westchester resident Lowell F. Hawthorne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, the nation’s largest Caribbean franchise chain.
Westchester Community College President Belinda S. Miles will also address those gathered at commencement. “I am pleased that this notable entrepreneur will be inspiring our graduating students at commencement,” says Dr. Miles. “As an immigrant from Jamaica, his success story will be of interest to the thousands who will be on hand for this event, especially our many students from other countries including our English as a Second Language students, in addition to our Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management majors, our Entrepreneurship majors, and our English as a Second Language students.”
“As an entrepreneur educated in New York State, and a notable philanthropist who has ensured the education of hundreds of students through generous scholarships, he truly exemplifies the college’s motto: Building Minds, Building Futures,” says Dr. Miles.
Hawthorne migrated to the United States in 1981 along with his family, finding employment as an accountant and then later opening a Bronx bakery. Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill grew to more than 120 stores in nine states and now provides employment for over 1,500 individuals. Hawthorne, who holds an Associate degree from Bronx Community College and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Lehman College, received the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Jamaica’s highest honor for service to commerce and community development: The Order of Distinction, Commander Rank.
A sought after motivational speaker, his organization ranks in the Black Enterprise top 100 and among the Entrepreneur Magazine top 500. The Mavis and Ephraim Hawthorne Golden Krust Foundation, named in honor of his late parents, has awarded more than 300 scholarships to aspiring students in the United Sates and Jamaica.
Among the graduates at the May 18 ceremony will be student leaders and winners of the SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence.
The college’s picturesque 218-acre main campus in Valhalla is the former estate of John Hartford of A&P fame. Since opening in 1946, more than 250,000 students have enrolled in classes held at the largest college in the county. The college offers more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs.
Westchester Community College President Belinda S. Miles has announced the appointment of Dr. Vanessa Morest, dean of institutional effectiveness at Norwalk Community College in Connecticut, as Westchester Community College’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective this summer.
Dr. Morest is an accomplished academic leader, administrator, researcher, author, and faculty member with two decades of community college experience. She is an immigrant who values public education and understands the experience of first generation college students. Her commitment to college access, student success, and academic excellence is evident in her progressively responsible experience with community colleges.
Her leadership experience at Norwalk includes two years as interim dean of academic affairs and chief academic officer with oversight responsibility for all academic areas of the college, including credit and non-credit programs and academic support services. She has extensive experience collaborating with faculty and staff with a focus on helping community college students succeed. She has been involved in expanding high school partnerships and developing programs supporting current and future industry demands.
“Dr. Morest offers broad expertise in expanding programs for college access and success, which is a skill set well aligned with the college’s mission and strategic plan for continued innovation across multiple areas,” said Miles. “Working closely with faculty and staff, Dr. Morest will be a partner who will assist with the implementation of a range of new programs centered on data-driven student success outcomes. Her collaborative approach to this nuanced work will be a key asset to continuing to position the college for growth.”
Dr. Morest joins Westchester Community College at an exciting time in the college’s 71-year history. More students are graduating than ever before with a nearly 50 percent jump in graduation rate since 2015. Already the most affordable college in Westchester County, the college’s Board of Trustees recently approved a budget with no tuition increase for the fifth consecutive year. Combined with the state’s free tuition Excelsior Scholarship and new credit and non-credit programs in high demand fields, the college is poised for higher levels of growth and student success.
Prior to joining Norwalk in 2006, Dr. Morest served as assistant director for postsecondary research at the Community College Research Center where she led and contributed to numerous studies evaluating college programs and practices. She is co-editor of Defending the Community College Equity Agenda (2006) with Thomas Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center, and is author of Community College Student Success: From Boardrooms to Classrooms (2013), which reviews a decade of student success reform at community colleges.
Dr. Morest has taught as an adjunct faculty member in sociology at Norwalk and has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned her B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary and her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology of education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
This appointment concludes an extensive national search that commenced in spring 2016. Interest in the position was wide-ranging, with significant interest expressed by diverse and highly qualified college leaders from across the country.
We are pleased to welcome Dr. Kristina M. Johnson as the incoming Chancellor for the SUNY System. President Miles on the new SUNY leader:
“Dr. Johnson reflects a real understanding of the role community colleges play in providing broad access and opportunity for individuals entering the higher education pipeline. Her vision for expanded innovation in teaching and learning will engage and inspire learners as they seek opportunities to transfer or earn credentials for entry to the workforce.”
Background on Dr. Johnson:
President Miles spoke to journalist Soledad O’Brien about the state’s new free college tuition program (Excelsior Scholarship) on the nationally broadcast “Matter of Fact” program that aired April 16, 2017. The scholarship makes higher education more affordable by providing tuition-free college at New York’s public colleges and universities to families making up to $100,000 a year. At Westchester Community College, 90 percent of students who apply for financial aid fall in this eligibility category.
Westchester Community College welcomes a diverse student body attending part-time and full-time in more than sixty degree and certificate programs. Graduates pursue a wide range of careers and some take advantage of one of the more than 300 transfer agreements into bachelor’s degree programs. Westchester students are eligible for federal Pell Grants and the state’s Tuition Assistance Program, which for some students already covers the full cost of tuition. Additionally, the Westchester Community College Foundation provides about $2 million a year in scholarships. For more information on the Excelsior Scholarship and other financial aid programs, click on http://www.sunywcc.edu/student-services/finaid/excelsior-scholarship/ or https://www.suny.edu/smarttrack/types-of-financial-aid/scholarships/excelsior/. Or email the college at email@example.com.
Here are two excerpts from the interview:
The college’s spring Open House is on Tuesday, May 16 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.The program begins in the Physical Education Building.
Visit academic and student services tables, participate in a campus tour and information session. Speak with faculty, staff and students about academic programs, student services and career and transfer opportunities. http://www.sunywcc.edu/admissions/admissions-information/openhouse/
On February 17, 2017, President Belinda S. Miles delivered the annual State of the College Address. Click to read.
Please help us evaluate our courses and professors this semester. The evaluation period is April 3 through April 24. Click here for details: