Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Viking Strength – June 12, 2020
June 12, 2020
I am thrilled to announce the availability of more than $3.6 million in direct grant aid to eligible students from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Please encourage students to apply by completing the online CARES grant application at http://www.sunywcc.edu/CARES.
These relief funds recognize the trauma faced by college students across the country and provide support for basic aid so students can stay enrolled and on track to their goals. Students who have been identified as being eligible have been notified directly of this opportunity. The priority application deadline is July 15 which is sufficient time for students wishing to “pick up” a class as soon as this summer.
We have strong enrollment in our fully remote summer sessions and there is still opportunity for students to enroll for classes starting June 22 and July 27. Please help students, especially those on track to complete in August, enroll in one of the remaining summer sessions.
Our plans for remote learning during the fall semester should include messages that instill confidence in students. Let’s remind them that their goals remain within reach and their classes this fall will bring them even closer to finishing their degrees. Help them discover their resilience and their #VikingStrength!
Related to this, I’ve read or heard a lot recently about how students most at risk are likely to do worse in remote learning environments and that without in-person access, they are also the most likely to stop out of college. Our data actually shows that while many students are struggling during this challenging time, they have persisted and done well despite the trauma and transition we all faced during spring 2020. The steadfast commitment, support, and care our faculty and staff have provided to our students has kept them focused and progressing toward their academic goals.
Following our transition to fully remote teaching and learning during spring 2020, Westchester Community College participated in the JED Foundation’s Healthy Minds Study to check in with students regarding their mental and emotional needs. The survey confirmed feelings of stress about finances as well as emotional difficulties that they feel have hurt their academic performance. Despite this, 70% of respondents indicated that they are confident that they will be able to finish their degrees no matter what challenges they may face. This is #VikingStrong!
Our remote learning platforms are robust, interactive, and engaging. Students can connect to their faculty, to tutors, and to each other with relative ease. We must encourage them and show them that they can have robust and positive learning experiences in remote formats and that we are here to help.
Our mission calls on us to provide access to high-quality education. We strive to always do this in a welcoming environment that promotes belonging and provides broad support. This includes instilling in our students the belief that they have – or can develop – the skills to make progress and succeed in diverse teaching and learning formats. They are #VikingStrong and we are #WCCHereToHelp!
Dr. Belinda S. Miles