Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Fall Semester Kick-Off – September 4, 2020
September 4, 2020
I am so proud of your commitment to student success and engagement in planning diverse events to ensure a robust, high-quality college experience and to create a sense of community and belongingness for students and each other. Even though remote learning continues as we begin a new academic year, we had a truly dynamic and active start to our fall semester!
- Monday kicked off the week implementing plans formed by our Pandemic Response Team to ensure adherence to protocols for campus and college community safety. We are learning much from daily headlines about colleges transitioning back to remote learning due to positive COVID-19 cases. We are encouraged by the success of our re-emergence plan and procedures, protective measures, and monitoring systems even as we remain prepared to adjust our plans, if needed.
- Tuesday, as the first day of classes got underway, we continued our tradition of greeting students with virtual welcome tents where students could ask questions and meet members of the college community. Students were highly engaged with approximately 180 participating. The Center for Teaching and Learning also hosted its Tuesday Cyber Café, a great space for faculty to collaborate and share ideas on teaching and learning.
- On Wednesday we celebrated the semester’s first Common Hour with Student Convocation, hosted by Student Involvement. This was a wonderful opportunity to extend a Westchester Welcome to our Vikings and let them know that we are #WCCHereforYou.
- On Thursday, the Personal Counseling and Student Involvement departments joined forces to host “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Day,” an innovative program designed to promote transparency around mental health issues and normalizing asking for support. Programming included a student support forum, Instagram Live conversations, sharing resources, and more. Please let students know that resources and personal counselors are available should they need assistance or someone to talk to during these challenging times. The next Here for You Mental Health Student Support Forum will be held on Wednesday, September 23 at 11:30 a.m.
- Today, Friday, we maintain our tradition of looking back at the week and also ahead. We proudly celebrate the fall 2020 semester kicking off with 1,444 sections! Thousands of students are starting or continuing their academic journey. You — our talented faculty and staff — are helping students find their way, build strong connections to WCC, and take advantage of the many academic and support systems designed to help them succeed. As the semester progresses, please encourage students to participate in co- and extracurricular events to enhance their learning and their connection to each other.
Amidst our celebrating, there is still work to be done and opportunity to reach our fall 2020 enrollment goal. Please join our Strategic Enrollment Management team in spreading the word that Westchester Community College has a place for students in one of the three remaining sessions:
- September 8 for 14-week classes;
- September 22 for 12-week classes;
- October 26 for 7.5-week classes.
Thank you for your commitment to our students and their success during this unprecedented new academic year. For many, college is partly defined by the physical spaces where experiences are shared. Now we must transcend those physical experiences and demonstrate who we are by our values, actions, and connections to one another. During this pandemic era, we must be extra vigilant in creating this atmosphere. This is what makes us #VikingStrong.
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and healthy Labor Day weekend.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles