Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Community of Learners – October 4, 2019
October 4, 2019
College presidents are often invited to serve as speakers and panelists on future trends and promising new educational developments. I accepted one such invitation to represent Westchester Community College at the SUNY Guided Pathways Institute this week where we welcomed Cohort II SUNY institutions. As a mentor college to Cohort II, I joined other Cohort I presidents to share our year one experiences with Guided Pathways.
I was pleased to incorporate input from several of our Guided Pathways implementers in my remarks. I believe that one of the best received lines from the panel was a comment I shared from Art faculty member Nicole Tschampel that “you don’t always have to eat your broccoli first,” referencing how Guided Pathways is not a one size fits all approach that works the same for each discipline. Thank you to our Guided Pathways team and to the following colleagues who shared with me insights from their curriculum mapping experiences and departmental discussions: Provost Vanessa Morest, Dr. Sara Tweedy, Dr. Karen Taylor, Dr. Ruben Barato, Dr. Michele Campagna, Dr. Heather Ostman, Dr. Rick Hyland, Professor Nicole Tschampel, Viking Roads Coordinator Leonore Rodrigues, and our EXALT team.
As a community of learners constantly striving for even higher levels of teaching excellence than we have achieved thus far, we incubate new ideas, put them into practice, evaluate the outcomes, and work to continuously improve. We are the architects of our own future and the future of Westchester County. It is an exciting time to be at the community college, where we have the strength and flexibility to meet ever-changing community needs. Our expansion of FYE seminar experiences for nearly 600 students, options to expand or design new academic programming, and future prospects for a full branch campus in Yonkers are just a few of the ways we are increasing social mobility opportunities for our students and community.
Finally, the attached article discusses SUNY’s ongoing commitment to student success, retention, and completion through it SUNY ACHIEVES initiative. As we begin to implement the goals, strategies and objectives of our new Strategic Plan, it will be exciting to see how our work supports and contributes to this initiative.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles