Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Determined to Excel-November 1, 2019
November 1, 2019
This week’s exemplar of academic excellence is Joel Luke Van Alstine, our Communications and Media Arts student who reported on adoption practices in Haiti as part of his role as a 2019 Pulitzer Center reporting fellow. Joel joins 42 other reporting fellows from colleges and universities nationwide who presented in Washington during the annual Campus Consortium Washington Weekend. We’re proud of Joel and all of our students who keep Westchester Community College in national company among colleges—public, private, 2-year, and 4-year—that offer rigorous academic preparation for college and career. You can see a video of his presentation online. https://pulitzercenter.org/blog/2019-reporting-fellows-washington-weekend-day-two.
Closer to home, Westchester Community College served as a destination for the Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Careers Education Bus Tour that brought high school educators to the college and local work sites to learn about education and training programs leading to high-wage, high-demand careers. Participating sites and partners included Safe Flight Instrument Corporation, Magnetic Analysis Corp., Con Edison, and Southern Westchester BOCES. Congratulations to Tere Wisell, Vice President of Workforce Development & Community Education; Dr. Ray Houston, Dean of the School of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics; Dr. Laurie Miller McNeill, Director of Institutional Advancement, and others at the college who facilitated a rich exchange of information and ideas to make these career pathways more understandable to educators and more accessible to students. Here is a link to some pictures from the day. https://flic.kr/s/aHsmJ559p5
A recent survey of four-year university leaders’ readiness for the future revealed the following concerns:
- increasing competition (62%);
- declining traditional-age student population (59%);
- increasing population of working adults and other nontraditional students (39%), declining federal and state financial support (38%, though much higher for public universities);
- declining public confidence in higher education (27%); and
- geopolitical uncertainty around international students (23%).
With enrollment shifts and less than predictable public funding, community college leaders are also rallying around these types of concerns. The still critically important community college watchword, “completion,” has been joined by “ROI” as students and families and public officials seek value from education related to graduates’ job prospects and economic mobility. Our strategic plan released this fall sets the stage for proactive, innovative, even disruptive solutions to ensure our ability to meet the needs of even more students and prepare them for the dynamic, evolving world around us. If ever there was a community college determined to thrive in this new reality, it is us – Westchester Community College!
Dr. Belinda S. Miles