JPMorgan Chase funds job skills survey

Aug.14, 2015

A new grant from JPMorgan Chase will result in an analysis of critical job skills gaps in the area. Westchester Community College was awarded the $150,000 grant to develop a Middle Skills Gap Report for the Lower Hudson Valley region. Middle skills jobs are those requiring education beyond high school but less than a four-year degree. The National Skills Coalition reports that key industries in the United States are unable to find enough sufficiently trained workers to fill these positions. In New York State, 46% of anticipated job openings through 2022 will be in this category, including many Westchester positions in healthcare, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.

The goal of this grant-funded project is to identify the middle skills jobs that regional employers will need to fill in order to remain competitive and to determine the education, training, and credentials required for these positions. The resulting report will enable stakeholders to understand the skills and competencies required for various job titles so that community colleges and four-year institutions of higher learning, high schools offering career and technical education programs, and other training providers can align curricula and credentials with actual industry needs. The result will be a collective strategy for addressing middle-skills workforce needs in the Lower Hudson Valley and the development of clear educational and career pathways that secure entry and advancement into middle-skill jobs. The ultimate goal is to insure a pipeline of appropriately trained individuals for regional employers.

“New York employers are looking to hire individuals with advanced skills, but area job seekers often struggle to figure out which skills they need and where they can learn them,” says Chauncy Lennon, Head of Workforce Initiatives at JPMorgan Chase. “Through research projects like this one, we’ll identify the data to help drive the right solutions to address the gaps between New York employers and job seekers.”

“Linking our educational offerings to actual jobs in the local workforce is a critical part of our mission,” says Dr. Belinda S. Miles, Westchester Community College President. “This key research project will allow our institution, and many others responsible for training and educating tomorrow’s workforce, to ensure we will be able to match academic programs with existing and future job openings and career opportunities.”

The grant was secured by the Westchester Community College Foundation. Westchester Community College’s Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development will coordinate this project and work in collaboration with regional education, business, workforce, and economic development agencies, including but not limited to the Business Council of Westchester, the Westchester County Association, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, the Westchester/Putnam Workforce Investment Board, the Workforce Investment Board of Rockland County, Westchester and Rockland Directors of Economic Development, the President of Putnam County’s Economic Development Corporation, regional educational providers, and other applicable stakeholders in the Lower Hudson Valley in addition to Rockland County Community College and Dutchess Community College. It is anticipated that the Middle Skills Gap Report will be released by early 2016.

“Employers consistently tell us that there is a mismatch between skills required and jobs available,” says Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester. “Resolving this gap will be the key to a strong bridge to job development and a vibrant economy.   Westchester Community College’s great expertise, along with JPMorgan Chase’s generous support, will guide future business growth in Westchester and the region. We look forward to partnering with the college to gather the best information from the business community.”

Marissa Brett, President of the Westchester County Association, also hails this effort. “We congratulate Westchester Community College, a member of WCA’s Higher Education Committee, on the award of this generous grant that will help close the middle skills gap,” she says. “At present, the County has an exploding biotech and health tech industry that requires a skilled workforce. The grant will better position workers to fill current vacant positions and enable employers to be even more innovative and competitive,” she adds.

Workforce readiness is one of the funding priorities for JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy, specifically “JPMorgan Chase believes that addressing the skills gap can be one of the most powerful tools for reducing unemployment and expanding economic opportunity.” As a part of the Chase New Skills at Work initiative, skill gap reports have been funded in several metropolitan areas throughout the United States with the intent to accelerate and support demand-driven skills training.


Diplomas available for May 2015 graduates

Jul.28, 2015

Diplomas for May 2015 graduates are available for pick up in the Registrar’s Office.

Please bring photo ID.

The Registrar’s Office is located in the Admin. Bldg., Room 107.

Our office hours are Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. -7:30 p.m.

Friday hours after August 8 – 9:00 a.m.  – 5:00  p.m.

Any outstanding hold placed on your account by either the Bursar’s Office or the Financial Aid Office must be resolved with those offices before your degree can be released.


August Placement Exam Resources

Jul.21, 2015

The Academic Support Centers of both Mount Vernon and Valhalla are closed during the month of August. In the absence of tutors, the list below of online resources can help those looking for assistance in August.


For information on the Placement Exam and the importance of preparing, please visit the below page and click PLAN FOR SUCCESS and the video: 

For sample exam questions, please visit:

For study guides, please visit:

For ACCUPLACERTM  Study App, please visit:

For math review, please visit: 

For reading comprehension review, please visit:

For writing resources, please visit: 


Note:  Utilizing these resources does not guarantee placement into college level courses  or a higher placement score if  previously tested.










New federal funding to assist underserved students

Jul.19, 2015

Congresswoman Nita Lowey Announces $532,338 in New Federal Funding for Local Colleges to Assist Underserved Students 

Department of Education grants will help 415 Westchester Community College and Mercy College students complete their postsecondary education

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (Westchester/Rockland), the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, announced a total of $532,338 in new U.S. Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program funding for Westchester Community College and Mercy College to assist underserved students in the successful completion of their postsecondary education.

“Higher education can chart a student on the path to economic opportunity,” said Lowey. “I’m pleased these federal investments will help hundreds of underserved students at Westchester Community College and Mercy College fulfill their academic and career goals. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue working hard to protect higher education funding that makes college accessible and affordable for Lower Hudson Valley students.”

Westchester Community College (WCC) in Valhalla, NY, will receive $247,584 to implement a support services program to assist 165 first-year developmental students who are low-income, first-generation and/or disabled in completing their college programs successfully.

Services to be offered by WCC’s program will include: Individual counseling, academic advising, and coaching focused on strengthening non-cognitive skills; a series of connected activities including a Successful Start Workshop to strengthen academic behaviors and perspectives; financial aid assistance, innovative career planning assistance, and transfer assistance; tutoring; mentoring; and registration.

“Westchester Community College is delighted to be a recipient of the highly competitive TRIO Student Support Services grant,” said Westchester Community College President Dr. Belinda S. Miles. “This essential source of funding enables us to provide enhanced services to low-income, first-generation and disabled college students so they can achieve their educational goals. Students eligible to participate in this program will receive individualized counseling and coaching focused on their  personal, career and academic needs to increase their retention, graduation rates and transfer to a four-year college or university.”

Mercy College, whose main campus is in Dobbs Ferry, NY, will receive $284,754 to support 250 underserved students through a student support services program aimed at increasing the rates of retention, good academic standing, and graduation of eligible students. According to Mercy, two-thirds of the participants will be low-income and first-generation college students or individuals with disabilities; and one-third will be low-income, first-generation or individuals with disabilities. Not less than one-third of individuals with disabilities will be low-income. All students in the program will have academic need.

“These federal dollars will help Mercy College students who need a little extra personalized support to get to graduation day,” said Mercy College President Tim Hall. “The grant funds the TRIO Student Support Services program at Mercy, which serves 250 undergraduates who are low-income and first generation college students, and also those with disabilities.  The grant allows us to provide support services such as specialized freshman orientation, financial literacy, tutoring, mentoring and cultural activities.  This is a proven program that assists with retention, student academic success and graduation.  Thank you to Congresswoman Nita Lowey for helping Mercy College students succeed.”

Higher education is critical for students to meet the needs of the global and competitive workforce they will enter. That is why Congresswoman Lowey has been working to increase college access and affordability for hardworking students. She has:

  • Voted for the largest investment in college financial aid since the passage of the GI bills;
  • Supported cutting the interest rate on student loans in half over five years, saving borrowers thousands of dollars;
  • Supported allowing students with old loans to refinance to the lower rates that new borrowers enjoy;
  • Authored the DIPLOMA Act to make college tuition, fees, room and board, and books fully tax-deductible; and
  • Supports increases in the maximum Pell Grant award to help financial aid keep up with rising cost of college.

New $25,000 Pace University scholarship

Jul.06, 2015

Eligible Westchester Community College students may now take advantage of an extraordinary new scholarship program offered by Pace University. The scholarships, open to an unlimited number of Westchester Community College Associates Degree graduates who wish to obtain a four-year Bachelor’s degree at Pace, will allow many students to afford to continue their studies.

The initiative will provide transferring full-time students who have successfully graduated from Westchester Community College and meet eligibility requirements with an annual scholarship equal to $25,000 to be credited against Pace University’s standard full-time tuition. The program will begin with the 2015-2016 academic year. Westchester Community College graduates interested in enrolling for the fall semester may apply at any time. Transfer applications will begin to be accepted this summer.

This scholarship is designed to provide students with a solid education and access to the real-world experience critically needed upon graduation at a substantial reduction in cost. Based on the 2015-2016 rate, the scholarship will enable eligible students to offset more than 60% of the full-time cost of tuition during their first year at Pace. The scholarship is for study at Pace University’s Pleasantville Campus only and is not available for the iPace online degree program.

“This exciting new partnership will benefit our students and ultimately will have a positive effect on the local economy,” says Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President of Westchester Community College. “These students, after completing their studies at Westchester Community College, will now have the opportunity to move on to Pace and then into the workforce.”

“We are delighted to give eligible Westchester Community College graduates the opportunity to earn a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree through this innovative scholarship program,” says Pace University President Stephen J. Friedman. “Our ability to enable them to imagine new futures and advance their lives is at the core of our university motto of Opportunitas.”

The new scholarship program responds to student and industry needs, offsetting the rising cost of obtaining a 4-year degree and bridging the gap between academia and what employers want. Addressing the kind of change needed in higher education, the collaboration is a concrete response to the often prohibitive cost young people face to obtain a 4-year degree, as well as industry concerns that college students nationally are not graduating with the skills necessary to enter the workforce.

Added benefits for Pace University-Westchester Community College scholarship recipients who otherwise might depend entirely on student loans to finance a 4-year degree potentially include a smaller debt burden and a repayment term shortened by several years. The scholarship program is yet another example of Pace’s commitment to leadership in providing quality and education and positioning students for professional success. The initiative also marks the first time Pace has collaborated with a 2-year school to offer students such a unique opportunity that benefits both schools and surrounding communities.

To graduate from Westchester Community College, students must meet certain minimum performance requirements. By opening the scholarship program to Westchester Community College graduates with a minimum GPA of 3.2, Pace can substantially ensure continuing access to high quality applicants equipped with the ability to excel, succeed and ultimately graduate from Pace.

About Westchester Community College: More than just the County’s largest educational institution, it is a living, breathing part of Westchester that goes beyond the influence of a typical college and affects the lives of all who enter its doors. The faculty serve as a community of scholars for an increasingly diverse population of students. More than 13,000 credit students attend classes at the spacious 218-acre main campus in Valhalla and extension centers in Peekskill, Ossining, White Plains, Mount Vernon and Yonkers. An additional 13,000 students are enrolled in non-credit classes through SUNY’s largest Continuing Education unit.

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace University has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. Visit


Achieving the Dream Reform Network

Jun.22, 2015


Westchester Community College has joined fifteen other community colleges in joining the Achieving the Dream Reform Network which focuses on methods to increase student success and completion rates. Achieving the Dream today welcomed colleges from eight states with faculty, staff and administrators from those institutions participating in the 2015 Achieving the Dream Kickoff Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“To become an Achieving the Dream College, applicants must demonstrate an institution-wide commitment to spend at least three years working with Achieving the Dream experts to implement reforms designed to improve student success and completion rates on their campuses. Such a huge commitment to fundamentally rethink educational and student support is unusual and should be applauded because their work will result in a much larger, better educated, and productive workforce,” said Achieving the Dream President and CEO William E. Trueheart.

“Our new affiliation with Achieving the Dream, Inc. will give our institution a wonderful opportunity to build upon existing student success efforts. As a member of this network, our staff and administrators will be empowered to work together with the Achieving the Dream team on increasing our student engagement, learning, and completion outcomes,” says Dr. Belinda S. Miles, President, Westchester Community College.

By 2020, almost two thirds of all jobs will require education and training beyond high school, according to a report by Anthony P. Carnevale, Georgetown University Professor and Director of the University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Recovery, Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, recently cited by Bill Gates and other education leaders, found that unless the US begins producing more college graduates, there will be a shortfall of 11 million skilled workers to fill those jobs.

The Achieving the Dream 2015 Cohort is joining a network of over 200 colleges that are working to preserve access and assure that their students, especially low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity.

At the 2015 Kickoff Institute, which began on June 23 and concludes on June 25, the sixteen colleges will work in teams with coaches to increase their data analytic capacity to inform decision-making; understand how guided pathways can improve the student experience; identify opportunities to improve teaching and learning; and understand equity challenges on campus.

The 2015 cohort represents the first colleges in the Network to begin using the new Institutional Improvement Model to advance student success. The Model, composed of the Institutional Capacity Framework and the Continuous Improvement Cycle, provides practical guidelines for maintaining focus on students’ needs and building momentum over time. Throughout the process, Achieving the Dream coachesoffer customized support, and numerous peer learning opportunities to accelerate the adoption and adaptation of evidence-based, high impact practices.

In addition to using the new model, the 2015 Cohort will benefit from Achieving the Dream’s agreement with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) in which colleges’ data on key student success outcome measures will be extracted from student data already being submitted to NSC. The change responds to requests by Achieving the Dream Institutions for a more streamlined data reporting structure.

“We are delighted to welcome the 2015 Cohort colleges into the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network and congratulate them for taking this next step in operationalizing their commitment to improving student outcomes,” says Achieving the Dream Vice President for Community College Relations Cindy Lenhart.

Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia – helps more than four million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

Westchester Community College, part of the State University of New York system, is the largest educational institution in Westchester County. It grants more than sixty associate degrees and certificates, with classes offered on the 218-acre main campus in Valhalla and at extension locations throughout the County of Westchester.


Middle States Reaccreditation

Jun.13, 2015

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has reaccredited the college. This designation is in effect for ten years.


Email Update

Jun.12, 2015


The college is no longer going to communicate with students using their personal email addresses; all communications will be through college-provided email addresses. We have eased into this policy over a two-year period, and we have used personal email addresses in the past.  We are no longer allowing the use of those addresses, so please be advised that all official college communications will go through your college email address.

If you have not yet activated your MyWCC account and have not set up your college email address, please click here for directions on How to Activate Your MyWCC Login.  The college expects each student to activate their MyWCC account and check their official emails on a frequent basis. Do not redirect your emails to another account; the college will not be responsible for emails sent to non-WCC email accounts. Email forwarding does not excuse students from the responsibilities associated with receiving and communicating via our official WCC email addresses.

For students who would like to have mobile phone or tablet access to their college email, please following the instructions by clicking on the How to Access our WCC Email link in MyWCC. The college maintains the right to access and examine college computer systems and networks and all information that is stored or transmitted through these systems and networks, including all email and all website visits. For more details on the college’s email policy, click here.


Student wins Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

Jun.11, 2015

Enjoy this video in which Westchester Community College President Belinda S. Miles surprises student Wellington Mackey with the news that he has won the nation’s largest scholarship for community college students. Mackey was selected to receive a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship; those scholarships are the largest awards given to two-year students. He is one of 85 community college scholars to receive the award for up to $40,000 per year. This is the ninth time that one of our students has won this prestigious honor. Wellington is now going on to Yale.


Stories from Summer Students

Jun.03, 2015

Thousands of students attend Westchester Community College’s various summer sessions. Many students from other schools transfer affordable credits back to their home campuses. Click here to hear stories from students who attend summer classes at Westchester Community College.