Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Access to Quality Learning & Financial Resources!
September 24, 2021
As we complete our fourth week of fall 2021 classes, we are feeling more and more acclimated while propelling forward in our mission-driven work and our commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. We continue implementing our strategic plan and providing high-quality learning experiences for students and meeting them where they are to help them succeed. We understand that different people thrive in different modalities, and regardless of where and how students choose to learn, we follow the same high quality learning outcomes and assessment tools to document their progress and success.
The availability of numerous high impact practices allow us to connect students to co-curricular experiences and programming that broaden their knowledge. Guest speakers, hands-on projects, work completed in labs and clinicals, and service projects are but a few examples of such learning complements. The work we do to enhance the student experience provides context for their classroom learning as they prepare for the workforce of the future. As important as the career and technical education we offer, collaboration, team-focused learning, problem solving, and critical thinking are among the many skills our students are learning that are also expected in the hybrid future work models.
This commitment of access to quality teaching and learning – both career and technical as well as liberal education — is baked into our mission, vision, and values. This access focus keeps the doors open widely, welcoming all members of our community to develop knowledge and skills that position them to contribute to driving economic recovery to our region. Proudly, our graduates experience significant economic mobility and engage in work that ensures student and institutional success well into the future.
Our resolve to help students stay on track and cross the finish line has been undeterred, and we salute every achiever. We have celebrated two commencements during the pandemic with more than 4,000 graduates who are now part of our regional workforce or continuing their education following transfer.
For those who have faced unprecedented hurdles, the college has made resources from the WCC Foundation and federal relief funds available to help students get back on track. We are grateful to the leadership of the Westchester Community College Foundation for their ongoing support, and we thank VP Brian Murphy and Director Jason Franky and their respective teams for the work still underway to get Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to eligible students this month.
The culture of care that we are fostering recognizes that real-life demands require real-time solutions. Insufficient childcare, food and housing insecurity, unemployment and other financial stresses, limited access to technology, mental health concerns, among many other challenges, can disrupt or derail student learning. We are committed to designing systems and securing resources to remove barriers to learning so our students can thrive and support themselves, their families, and the broader community. Be sure to learn more about and refer students to available resources at the college that can help them achieve their goals.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles