Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Reinforcing Re-engagement
April 29, 2022
The cooler temperatures certainly don’t indicate that we’re about to welcome May, but the increasing activity on campus surely signals that we are nearing the end of a busy spring semester.
Last evening, over fifty students were recognized for their outstanding performance and achievement at our annual Academic Recognition Ceremony. This is the first time since spring 2019 that we have hosted the ceremony in person. Thanks to the faculty and staff members who attended in support of students, which means so much to them and their guests. I especially thank Provost Morest for offering remarks on my behalf and the trustees, Foundation board members, and other distinguished guests for their continued support of the college and our students.
On a personal note, so many of you have reached out to me with lovely words, notes, and cards, and I deeply appreciate your thoughtfulness, your sense of community, and your support. It means so much to me and my family to know that you are here doing all you can to support students, the college, and each other. We often say we are a caring community, and so many of you prove that every day. Our words and actions matter, and as we continue to re-emerge from the pandemic and are increasingly present on campus, we should be mindful that we don’t always know what colleagues and students may be going through or feeling. Being patient and taking the time to listen to each other is surely appreciated.
As more and more classes and activities are returning to college campuses, I’m seeing numerous articles and data on student disengagement. Earlier this month, we looked at a Chronicle of Higher Ed article that described a “stunning level of disconnection” among students. This week’s article is a follow up that includes students’ thoughts and ideas after being asked what they want and need, which the author suggests, “is one step toward figuring a way out of this problem” of disconnection and disengagement.
Students indicated that they wanted to be “active participants in their learning,” and not just recipients of information. They also want “a variety of approaches to teaching and learning” that include interactive and engaging experiences. As we consider the student journey at Westchester Community College and especially student touchpoints and interaction, what do you think we should be doing differently to keep our students engaged, connected, and focused on their academic success?
As we welcome prospective students tomorrow during Open House, please also encourage continuing students to register for summer and fall classes, and continue to support students on target to complete their degrees and certificates next month or in August. Let’s also think about keys to re-engagement that we should be sharing and reinforcing within our college community.
Finally, in the spirit of student, academic, and institutional success, here is a brief video featuring our new logo. The best of WCC is yet to come.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles