Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Westchester Community College on Friday, November 15, 2013. The senator was in Valhalla, New York to hear about the college and to give college officials, staff, faculty and students an update on federal legislation. The video includes remarks by student Ryan Haslauer. At the briefing, college administrators discussed the size and scope of the college. We are Westchester’s largest college with more than 13,000 credit students and more than 13,000 non-credit students. We are one of the largest community colleges in the 64-campus SUNY system. We have the largest Division of Continuing Education within the SUNY system. We offer more than 60 academic majors. Our credit students are taught by skilled, caring faculty who help students move on to employment or to studies at four-year universities. One of our most recent efforts is “Bright Futures” which leads students into study in the energy and sustainability fields. We worked on this project with our partners at Con Edison, who attended the event.
Our diverse student body includes many economically disadvantaged individuals (we have the largest number of such students among all of the SUNY community colleges) and a large number of Hispanic students (25% of our credit student body) and many new immigrants.
We discussed our efforts regarding economic and workforce development and ways in which we meet the needs of our community. These efforts include non-credit classes and certificate offerings, our G2E (Gateway to Entrepreneurship) Program, Professional Development Center (workforce training), and the Center for Financial Education (financial literacy). We also discussed the Academy for Entrepreneurial Excellence, a joint venture with the Westchester Business Council.
The meeting was held in the college’s Gateway Center. We discussed the role of that building which houses our English Language Institute (ESL instruction for more than 4,000 ESL students) and our integration of various Gateway programs with our Business and Foreign Language class offerings.
Pictures from Senator Gillibrand’s visit.