Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Ready and Relevant
April 13, 2018
School of Health Careers, Technology, and Applied Learning Dean Ronald Bloom and several others circulated a New York Times article this week on the predicament faced by the administration, faculty, and staff at Edinboro University: staying relevant in a world of robots and rapid change. The article begins, “No longer is the school’s most promising pipeline the average teenager going to college for the first time, but more likely the adult who may need to go back for a second or third.” It is a sea of change for Edinboro and many colleges like it that have thrived on the historically strong high school pipeline. We might say something similar about Westchester Community College. With population and demographic shifts, growing competition from other higher education providers, persistent need for bridges to college coursework, new expectations for technology in and out of the classroom, and evolving workforce needs, this college must continuously consider adjustments that help us meet the dynamic and varied needs of our students and community. The article will give you insight on the conversations that are occurring at professional conferences and in interactions with political leaders and news media.
The good news for us, like the colleges mentioned in the article, is that we’ve already taken several positive steps to keep Westchester Community College relevant in the 21st century…
- Developed a comprehensive and long-range strategic enrollment management plan overseen by a new associate dean for enrollment management charged with understanding various potential student populations and how our services can best be designed and deployed to meet their needs.
- Embarked upon creating multiple distinct pathways toward completion through four schools, which will be further developed and refined with our work with SUNY on guided pathways.
- Engaged in academic planning to prioritize new programs that are responsive to needs in Westchester County as well as realigned credit and noncredit programs around middle skills jobs in high demand.
Still, the future remains uncertain. Board of Trustees Vice Chair Andrew Spano has previously announced hosting an open forum where we could discuss future trends and how they impact higher education. Stay tuned for forthcoming details on this promising process.
This evening Student Involvement and members of our campus community will acknowledge the achievements of our student leaders at the annual Student Leader Recognition Dinner. It has been my pleasure since coming to Westchester Community College to attend this and many other celebrations with students who have contributed so much to our campus community. I look forward to greeting our student leaders once again and I hope to see some of you at this wonderful event.
Thank you for all you do to join in the conversation of how to keep our programs and college relevant and in helping to shape the leaders of tomorrow through curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles