Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Participation, Pipelines and Pathways
October 1, 2021
This week we participated in National Voter Registration Day to inform members of our college community about the importance of registering to vote. To help the process, the college partners with TurboVote, a national organization that assists with voter registration, sending text and email reminders of when voting is occurring in our area, and more. As a designated Voter Friendly Campus, we are committed to providing myriad opportunities for students to be civically engaged citizens locally, nationally, and globally. National Voter Registration Day and similar initiatives engage participants in our democracy giving them voice and assurance that their opinions and ideas matter. The voter registration deadline for upcoming November elections is October 8, and you may wish to inform students and others of this timeline. #SUNYWCCVotes.
On Wednesday, I contributed to a Carnegie Mellon University Block Center for Technology and Society panel discussion on Building a 2021 Workforce with AI in response to the recent report of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI). The conversation centered on policy and training paradigms that can help generate the future workforce that is anticipated due to advances in machine learning and AI. Representing WCC and all community colleges in this urgent national discussion gives our sector the opportunity to contribute to solutions to this imperative and create pathways for the students we serve to participate in the forthcoming AI-centric workforce. At WCC, we must assess where we are today and what advanced capacity we need to lead technology-based training throughout our curriculum.
Westchester Community College offers diverse programs rooted in a strong tradition of academic excellence and student engagement. Our curriculum nurtures critical thinking, in-depth exploration of meaningful concepts and current issues, and provides space for students to share ideas and opinions. Programs like Phi Theta Kappa, the Honors College, participation in the Beacon Conference, and others, ensure that students who wish to begin their careers or continue their academic studies are ready and able to succeed due to the solid foundation built at Westchester Community College.
Please remind students – especially those on target for December completion and those who will complete in May – that registration continues for our second 7.5-week session with classes starting on October 25. Helping students to enroll and complete their degrees or certificates strengthens the role of community colleges as leaders in our economic recovery and in advanced workforce training. Per this Inside Higher Ed piece, some competitive colleges and universities overlook “a talented and diverse pool of students in their own backyard: transfer students from local community colleges.” Helping our graduates transfer addresses this concern. The work you do in and out of the classroom matters for our students as we prepare them for whatever their next step may be.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles