Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles – March 15, 2019
March 15, 2019
Our Staff Council hosted its annual professional development day, including an outstanding lineup of informative and inspiring speakers. During a festive and celebratory luncheon, the Westchester Community College Foundation honored the exemplary contributions of two deserving staff members, Richard “Richie” Alexander and Delzora “Dee” Mabra as our 2019 Staff Excellence honorees. Be sure to congratulate them when you see them on campus.
Continuing with the theme of professional development, here is a great article describing how to improve placement of students in campus jobs that align with their interests and career goals. This can positively affect learning, retention, and completion. Thanks to our Student Access, Involvement, and Success team and Ms. Melonie Cassells, in particular, for working to rejuvenate our College Work Study (CWS) program. With more resources and best practices available through Applied Learning led by Dr. Ronald Bloom and Ms. Gelaine Williams, we can consider experiential and project-based learning opportunities at offices and sites around the college. As a former CWS student myself, I am excited to see how we will reimagine student jobs as pathways to careers within our strategic enrollment management framework.
The New York State Assembly and Senate released their “One House” budget proposals this week. We are pleased to see the Assembly propose an increase in state aid and include a version of the “floor” funding model for community colleges proposed by SUNY. Advocacy now focuses on the Senate side to encourage adoption of the same priorities for the state’s community colleges. The “floor” funding model means that state aid is guaranteed not to dip below a predetermined amount as fluctuations in enrollment occur. It provides flexibility to plan for the longer term by making key investments that lead to innovative new programs and practices that extend our reach in the community. With heightened awareness of college admissions practices, it is even more important that we extol our core message of expanding access to opportunity—in the liberal arts or career-technical education, for personal enrichment or career advancement—with equity, authenticity, and accountability.
As this productive week comes to an end, I look forward to welcoming our students and faculty back to campus on Monday. Our students have been involved in various service projects, and I look forward to hearing about all they achieved during Alternative Spring Break.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles