Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank you to our Military Members and Veterans

Uncle Mac Sutkowski in uniform
I remember, as a child, being amazed by the story my Uncle Mac would tell about his time in Orbec, France, hiding with a farm family, his plane having been shot down during WWII.  He had just started seeing my aunt, his sweetheart, Helen, before he left Connecticut for the Air Force, deployed to Europe.  As a tail gunner on a bomber, her was doing his duty with his fellow soldiers, and on that fateful mission they were shot down over farmland in rural France. The family who took him in thought fast and sequestered him in their barn, initially. After a while he lived among them, taking meals with the family.  It took almost one and a half years for the French Underground to help get him out of Europe and back to my grandparents, his brother, my Dad, other siblings and his sweetheart Helen.  He had been missing in action throughout that period, as all communication sources were monitored, so the reunion was a huge surprise, and joyful.
Uncle Fred and Aunt Junko Blovat

Another lesser known story was about my mother's brother, Fred. My mom's family, from the Leatherstocking region of upstate NY State, lived a simple, honest life. Fred was also in the Air Force, a career soldier who retired after 25 years of service.  We never heard anything about his service, except that he served. About 10 years ago, a book was released outlining stories of the the hundreds of soldier spies who carried sensitive documents behind enemy lines, with extra risk during World War II. Who was included among these stories?  My Uncle Fred.

Thanks also to my cousins and nephews who have served, and many friends, coworkers, graduates and students at The College of Westchester.  WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf conflicts and wars.  Thank you.

Some of you reading this may have risked your lives in ways that we may never know. Today we honor you and thank you for the countless sacrifices, risks and secret missions that may be too painful to recount now, or that we might just not understand. We wish you, our US Veterans, peace and gratitude. Prayers and good thoughts toward you always. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

When November rolls around, I always begin to think of what I am grateful for, and for this life we live.  I look around at our students, catch up with grads on Facebook, LinkedIn, at events, through calls and emails, and am always renewed by seeing the world through their eyes.

One fairly recent grad, Michael Adebiyi , CW Class of 2012, attended our alumni homecoming event a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky enough to have Michael as a BBA intern.  Smart, insightful, ambitious – it was a pleasure working with him.  Even before he graduated, Hertz snatched him up.  Michael is now a manager, and trainer of managers at Hertz’s largest Brooklyn location.  Clearly, he is happy and not finished climbing the success ladder.

This is what we at CW do.  We continue to be the facilitators and launching pad for thousands and thousands of young people like Michael.  The stories of success are endless!

I was fortunate to hear Dr. Merryl H. Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, speak at the most recent Association of Proprietary Colleges meeting in Albany last week.  Dr. Tisch is the leader of education in the state of New York.  If you have ever met her or observed her in practice at a Regents meeting, you know that she is not a shrinking violet, and she always has a firm grasp on those things within her domain.  Dr. Tisch is a force to be reckoned with, and she shares her opinions clearly; she said many inspiring things last week.  The one that stuck with me most clearly was this; “the Proprietary Colleges in New York State are the gold standard for higher education in our state.”  With many wonderful colleges and universities in NY, this was an amazing thing to hear from the person who holds the fate of colleges within her leadership of the Regents.

With the release of the US Department of Education’s Gainful Employment rules on October 31, it is good to know that our state leadership believes in what we do, and understands that proprietary colleges play an essential role in educating New York’s students.  The State of New York stands with us and, even more importantly, they stand with our students’ opportunities for choices when deciding on a college.

I am grateful for the community of CW.  You all make this journey at CW worth it every day.

May the coming holidays be ones of great joy for you and yours, and may you find something fascinating in the everyday.  May you feel camaraderie and take comfort and support from those around you.  May your challenges bring unexpected opportunities, and as your best laid plans go awry, may you find that your life is joyous, unexpected and new.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A simple primer on Gainful Employment

This piece speaks for itself.  I had to share to give an opportunity for understanding.  It was created by APC Colleges.  Read more about the US Department of Education and Gainful Employment rules by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Great Parent's Orientation!

On October 14, CW held a great Parent's orientation for parents of our new freshmen students.    Many faculty, staff and administration were present to talk and visit with parents and family members.  We had a great time and much good information was shared.  Thanks to our parents who are the number one advocates and champions of their kids!

Here is my welcome from the event:

   Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here tonight.  I am touched and excited to see that so many of you have been able to participate.  I know you all have many commitments.
   Your involvement in your child’s education is crucial and critical to their success. 
Some of the best things I ever did for my kids was to give them the support they needed as much as I could, and helped them learn how to connect to  support that I could not give them myself.  My girls are now 27 and 29, and while things are not as hands on as it used to be, they still need support; whether emotional, financial or academic.  We all know that this support and attention begins when our children are first with us, and changes as they grow.
   I know it is a daunting task to help your child select the right college.  Thank you for choosing CW.
   College is a time of significant growth and maturity for young adults.  It is fun and exciting for us to be a part of that transformation process.  The College of Westchester has been at it for 100 years, come 2015.  What differentiates our college from others is the caring environment with personalized interest in your son or daughter’s success.
   What I told our newest students at their orientation was this:  it is about showing up, and it is about working hard.  Don’t be absent, ask for help, plow through and work hard.  Though college may be a breeze or it may be tough, on those toughest days, hang in there and don’t forget to ask for help.  College is your oasis, your safe place, the place that you can succeed and do great things for yourself, and we are here at every step of the way!  Set a goal for yourself and remind yourself of that goal, and you are infinitely more likely to reach your goal.  We believe that this combination makes our students successful.  Why?  Because their success is literally supported about all of the people, our provost, staff, faculty, library, learning center, counseling center, financial assistance, admissions, success coaches, advisors and career counselors who are with your kids, every step of the way, celebrating the successes and helping them when they need extra support.
   I would be remiss if I didn’t spend a moment speaking about our faculty.  At CW, faculty are fully credentialed professionals.  Most have spent much professional time in their field of study, whether accounting, business, digital media, networking, allied health or accounting.  They are not focused on research as you find in some larger institutions.  They are focused on students, and student learning outcomes, innovative methods of engagement and instruction.  Courses are taught by our academic department chairs and faculty members, not grad assistants as you might find elsewhere.  Faculty are approachable, all have office hours and a presence on the web in CW’s learning management system and virtual campus online, Campus Cruiser.  You couldn’t have picked a better group to work with your child.  
   So please know that you are not alone in your goal of insuring your child’s success. 
   Our dedication to students, high standards of excellence and unique mission is what leads to graduate success and security.  Our current graduate success rate is on par with prior years:  We anticipate that the vast majority of grads ready willing and able to work are, or well be employed in their field of study or a related field.  A number also continue their education.  We appreciate the opportunity to provide your children with the same great education that thousands before them have achieved.
  • ·        Most students choose CW because they want a career focused education that leads to career and financial security. 

  • ·        We want to do all that we can to live up to your expectations

  • ·        If we don’t, please let us know.  You can always call or email anyone at the college for assistance.  Call your child’s academic advisor, or email me at dearpresident@cw.edu
   My favorite day of the year at CW is commencement, graduation day; excited graduates, proud parents and family members, spouses, children, friends, as well as the CW community, cheering on your kids as they make it to the finish line.  It is always an amazing day, and I look forward to seeing you all there.
   Thank you again for being with us.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

100 Years of Excellence

It is hard for me to believe that The College of Westchester will reach it's 100 year anniversary in 2015.  That means thousands and thousands of CW graduates have graced the halls of virtually every company and organization in Westchester County, Rockland, Manhattan, Putnam, Bronx and Orange Counties and surrounding areas.  Thousands of success stories, tens of thousands of families whose lives were made better by our graduates' choice to attend college, persist, work hard, graduate and find employment that changed their lives for the better in so many ways.  Check out this interesting advertisement from 1915 which was placed in the New Rochelle Pioneer on July 24, 1915, when CW first opened their doors:

Back in the day, we were called Westchester Commercial School, then Westchester Business School, then The Westchester Business Institute, and now The College of Westchester.  Though our programs of study have changed to adapt to what the local and regional business community needs, one thing remains the same - we prepare individuals for careers that really matter, that can help make them employable, better their professional earnings potential and enrich their lives....and we still have the greatest instructors and professors!!

Here are a couple of CW Scholar stories.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Fall and Welcome to the new College of Westchester website and President's blog!

Hello and happy Autumn!  Another school year has begun.  Of course, that is a misnomer at CW as we have classes starting quite often all year round.  Because of our commitment to academic, student service and technological opportunities to meet our students where and when they attend classes, we offer a variety of online, hybrid, and classroom based courses. Visit our website and check it out!

Being involved with development of CW's online division in these past few years, it continues to be important to me and our CW team for students have an excellent and successful educational experience in each and every course they take.  Students give us feedback which we utilize to make the experience more intuitive and meaningful. 

Our academic advisors and success coaches, our faculty and staff are all on board to help our students become polished professionals, to graduate and move on to many other professional successes and a solid career path.

Next stop, graduation!  Enjoy some clips from our 2014 Commencement Ceremony last May.