Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Culmination and Commencement – October 5, 2018
October 5, 2018
This week we received official notification that Westchester Community College was triumphant in a highly competitive federal grant application for $2.7 million over five years to support redesigning the community college experience from entry to successful completion or transfer. This represents both a culmination and a commencement. It is the culmination of many years of focused effort by individuals who
- Envisioned a new first-year experience for community college students;
- Evaluated developmental education, advising, and other key areas prior to and through Achieving the Dream;
- Collected and analyzed information for preparing Middle States reviews and reports;
- Planned town halls and summits on how to serve students better and be a better institution;
- Participated in the design and ongoing rollout of Viking ROADS, applied learning, guided pathways, and other evidence based practices, and so much more!
In this “mountaintop” moment, we also commence with the next phase of our work. From this vantage point, we take pride in seeing all that we have achieved the past several years, and we have the confidence to climb the next mountain.
Our collective vision, ingenuity, and creativity enables us to imagine a future Westchester Community College that may be different from the one that exists today. Only a week ago, Provost Morest and SGA President Ava Marie Tapia called for better scheduling to support student learning and goal attainment, and Staff Council President Al Seward foresaw the college having the highest completion rate of all SUNY community colleges. These objectives are possible. They are within our grasp. So, what do we do next?
Through a yearlong Strategic Planning process, we will create our vision for bold, new ways the college will increase its impact in the community and beyond. College Controller Dawn Gillins and Professor Phil McGrath have agreed to serve as Conveners of a Strategic Planning Core Team, which includes Liza Adams, Ruben Barato, Shawn Brown, Rob Cirillo, Frank Donato, Tiffany Hamilton, Ray Houston, Charles McGinnis, Laurie Miller McNeill, Heather Ostman, and Allan Seward (pending). We will add student members and others to this team soon.
The Core Team has an ambitious schedule to prepare a draft strategic plan by May, and its members will call upon students, staff, faculty, and administrators to contribute in a variety of important ways.
Meanwhile, our engagement in mission-critical work to build our capacity continues. Thanks for all you have done and keep doing to ensure Westchester Community College’s position as the first choice to build minds and build futures for tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors.
Happy World Teacher’s Day!
Dr. Belinda S. Miles