Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Building a Sustainable Future
April 22, 2022
Happy Earth Day! This year’s theme, Invest in our Planet, reminds us that we each can have a role in building a sustainable future. If you are interested, Earthday.org provides a list of 52 ways to make a difference. Our own native plant sale allows us to invest in our planet while also investing in our institution since all net proceeds support the educational and environmental programs of the WCC Foundation’s Native Plant Center.
We have a lot to look forward to next week, including events that culminate our year-long 75th Anniversary celebration and the unveiling of our new college logo! The new logo represents a commitment to our mission to provide accessible, high quality and affordable education to meet the needs of our diverse community. Please be reminded of our Open House and 75th Anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 30. These in-person events are a clear indicator of our re-emergence. Open House provides an opportunity to attract new students as we continue to focus on growing our enrollment and meeting students’ needs.As we focus on enrollment, our own data and other resources will guide us toward greater understanding of the student perspective to better meet their needs. We are witnessing employment shifts with workers mapping pathways that include upskilling, reskilling, and earning a college degree or credential to increase their economic mobility. Our adult learners are specifically seeking opportunities that lead to employment as exemplified by the Healthcare Career Fair held today at our new White Plains Education & Training Center that attracted 30+ employers and over 100 job seekers.
Note these additional data points from the recent Gallup-Lumina Foundation report, “The State of Higher Education 2022,” about U.S. adults without a college degree and not currently enrolled in any certificate or college program:
- 44% report they have considered enrolling in a bachelor’s degree, associate degree, industry certification, or certificate program in the past two years.
- 85% of students recently enrolled in a certificate or degree program, but stopped out during the COVID-19 pandemic, have considered reenrolling.
- Associate degrees and certificate programs are the most popular credential of interest for unenrolled individuals.
Among key findings for those without a college degree and currently enrolled in a certificate or college degree program:
- 39% of associate degree students found it difficult or very difficult to remain enrolled heading into the fall of 2021.
- 41% of associate degree students have considered stopping out in the past six months, similar to 2020 levels.
- Most currently enrolled students report they are pursuing their degrees to increase their knowledge, purpose, and pay: 65% say an important reason is to obtain knowledge and skills, 61% say that it will allow them to pursue a more fulfilling career, and 60% report it will help them achieve a higher-paying job.
Detailed findings and additional data are found within the report. Please consider sharing other data or information on enrollment strategies, student persistence and success, and student perspective.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles