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Year-round Pell Grants Are A Lifeline

March 8, 2011

By Daniel de Vise

Here is a guest post from Vinton Thompson, President of the Metropolitan College of New York.

The House majority has voted for large cuts in Pell Grant support for low-income college students. These cuts would be disastrous for many students attending urban institutions and should be opposed. But lost in the discussion of these draconian cuts for all recipients of maximum Pell support is another Pell cut proposal that would target some of our nation’s most deserving students.

President Obama’s administration proposes to end year-round Pell Grants, which support students who go to school all year. This program, only a year and a half old, has given a lifeline to hardworking, non-traditional adult students. It supports their efforts to earn a life-changing B.A. faster and more efficiently than is possible in the traditional two-semester academic year that evolved in another era to serve young residential students.

In academic year 2009-2010, 666 students at Metropolitan College of New York, a small, nonprofit urban commuter institution in Manhattan, received Pell Grants. One hundred fourteen of these students relied on year-round Pell Grants. One is Khassaundra Whitley, who presently works as a teacher’s aide. She began her studies in Summer Semester 2010, planning to become a school teacher or social worker. To meet the requirements for a position that is opening at her current workplace, she needs to obtain her bachelor’s degree within the next year and a half. MCNY’s year-round, three full-semester academic calendar offers her the opportunity to accomplish this goal. But to complete her bachelor’s degree on this tight schedule she is relying on year-round Pell. Without it she will not be able to meet her goal on deadline.

Or take the case of Sabrina Soto, another student who first enrolled in Summer Semester 2010. She has two children, attends school full-time and works in a mental health facility. She needs her bachelor’s degree to qualify for promotion to supervisor. Thanks to year-round Pell, the New York State Tuition Assistance Program and some transfer credits, she has already completed her associate’s degree and is hard at work on her bachelor’s degree. Year-round Pell will make it possible for her to attend during Summer Semester 2011. Sabrina believes that being able to earn her degree quickly and without interruption is important to her success.

If year-round Pell comes to an end, dedicated students like Khassaundra and Sabrina will have to slow down their educations or go deeper into debt. In the first case, students’ dreams and higher-order contributions to the economy will be postponed (a postponement that may go on indefinitely if interruptions lead to loss of momentum and dropping out of school). In the second case, greater debt leads to greater risk of loan default. Neither outcome is in the students’ or the nation’s interest.

The administration contends that year-round Pell has not accelerated completion of bachelor’s degrees. No data has been offered to support this position. It is unlikely that only 18 months of experience would make it possible to do a thoughtful evaluation of this program, given that it takes a minimum of 16 months to earn a two-year associate degree going year-round. The administration also contends that the program has proved unexpectedly popular, an odd argument for discontinuation. Instead, the strong demand indicates that year-round Pell grants have met a real need in the target low-income student population.

Mr. Obama has made increasing college graduation rates a national priority. Rescinding year-round Pell grants would undercut this effort. Why target a group of students who are especially diligent and support-worthy to bear a disproportionate impact of national budget cuts? Surely there are better alternatives to share the inevitable pain.

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Posted by in About Applying, Admissions, Paying for School, Students. 1 Comment »

Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Latest Report For Teachers

January 3, 2011

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report of the occupations expected to have the largest number of job openings through 2018 (measured by anticipated number of jobs added from 2008-2018) indicates  that both post-secondary and elementary school teachers are among the top 15. Job openings for post-secondary teachers are expected to jump by 257,000 through 2018, while jobs for elementary school teachers will grow by 244,000.

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2010 MCNY Commencement Ceremony

September 2, 2010

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Nell Irvin Painter – MCNY Commencement Keynote Speaker

May 25, 2010

For the past month, we have been profiling this year’s commencement speakers. Commencement will take place on June 12th, 2010 at Jacob Javits Convention Center..

Nell Irvin Painter
A graduate of Harvard University, Nell Irvin Painter went on to become the Edwards Professor Emeritus of American History at Princeton University. She has written 7 books and countless articles relating to the history of the American South. Her new book, The History of White People guides us through 2000 years of Western Civilization. Her public appearances at on the tour circuit include speeches on American and African -American History, Visual Artists depiction of American and African -American History, Southern History across the Color line, Sojourner Truth: A life, a symbol African American History-Women’s rights, and Personal Beauty: Images and Stereotypes

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John C. Liu – MCNY Commencement Speaker

May 18, 2010

From now until the end of May, we will be profiling our Commencement speakers. Commencement is on June 12th, 2010 at Jacob Javits Convention Center.

John C. Liu
The New York City Comptroller From 2001 – 2009, John Liu served as a member of the New York City Council representing District 20 in Queens. Throughout his tenure, he also served as Chair of the Transportation Committee, focusing public policy on the critical role transportation options play in economic development and access to jobs.

John Liu is a proud product of New York City public schools beginning with kindergarten at P.S. 20 in Queens through to the Bronx High School of Science, followed by Binghamton University, where he earned his degree in Mathematical Physics. He resides in Flushing, Queens with his wife, Jenny, and their son, Joseph. He also actively served on the Committees on Education, Consumer Affairs, Contracts, Health, Land Use, Lower Manhattan Redevelopment and Oversight & Investigation, as well as on the Executive Board of the Black, Latino & Asian Caucus. The first Asian American elected in New York City – both to legislative office in 2001 and a citywide post in 2009 – were marked milestones for Asian Americans in the city and across the nation.

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Mimi Valdés – MCNY Commencement Speaker

May 11, 2010

From now until the end of May, we will be profiling our Commencement speakers. Commencement is on June 12th, 2010 at Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Mimi Valdés
Editor in Chief of Latina Magazine
Award-winning editor, entrepreneur and speaker. Prior to Latina magazine she was editor of Vibe Magazine and contributing editor at Blaze. She holds NYU degree in journalism. Is best known for her interviews with Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and many more.

A contemporary Latino woman in a traditional role at a non-traditional magazine. She has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, MTV, VH1, E!, BET, CNN, PBS, Fox News and a variety of print publications. She is often called upon as an expert on the Latino role in Pop Culture, Music and style.

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Gerald Grant – MCNY Commencement Speaker

May 4, 2010

From now until the end of May, we will be profiling our Commencement speakers. Commencement is on June 12th, 2010 at Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Gerald Grant
Journalist, Historian…Professor at Syracuse University.  The World We Created at Hamilton Highportrays the dilemmas of the schools today, especially those conditions that cause public schools to retreat behind a façade of bureaucratic legalism and to abandon the attempt to forge a sense of community. Latest book, Hope and Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh is a tale of Northern cities, in particular author Gerald Grant’s native Syracuse, N.Y where failing schools torpedo all attempts at urban revitalization. Against that backdrop, Grant presents Wake County’s system as the single best example of the opposite case: a few Southern cities where good schools are driving increased prosperity.  Gerald Grant is particularly interesting because of the article that he wrote on Audrey Cohen College at its start.

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Craig Mosier, Bachelor of Business Administration Alumnus

April 27, 2010

Recently, we asked Craig Mosier, a recent alumnus of the Bachelor of Business Administration program some questions about his experience at MCNY and where it has led him.

What made you choose MCNY to pursue your degree?

“I moved to New York City in the summer of 2006. I had started my education at a small liberal arts college in Ohio and was looking to finish my degree while also working full-time in New York. I found MCNY and realized all of this was possible, in the same time frame as my initial college plan. MCNY offered huge advantages that most other colleges simply did not. MCNY’s Constructive Action method to teaching made it possible for me to apply what I was learning in the classroom to my actual experience in the workplace.”

How did you apply what you learned in the classroom toward your career?

“I applied much of what I learned in the classroom toward my career. The interaction with professors who were not only well-versed in their field, but also brought actual professional experience to the table was priceless. At MCNY, I was given the opportunity to intern at a large corporation directly relating to the field I was interested in pursuing post-graduation. I feel the skills and experience I gained from my internship really challenged me to both graduate on top as well as provide me with contacts in my job search after graduation. My internship really gave me an advantage over other candidates and led me to my current position.”

Where are you working now?

“I was recently offered a personal banker position at Citibank. I have to believe this is a direct result of the opportunities I was given at MCNY, specifically my internship. I can remember first walking through the doors of MCNY and seeing nothing but promise ahead. MCNY helped me realize my career goals and better myself as a person. I highly recommend MCNY to any student looking to further their personal and professional goals.”

Any other accomplishments you would like to share?

“I currently serve as one of the LIVESTRONG Army Leaders for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and am an active cancer advocate. I also am a runner and a cyclist. I completed a marathon in 2008 and look forward to competing in a triathlon some time in the next year.”

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Service – It’s What We Do!

March 11, 2010

At Metropolitan College of New York, our students are committed to using what they learn both inside and outside of the classroom to transform the world around them. That dedication to helping others has earned us a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college can receive for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.

MCNY students and faculty deserve all the credit. This honor goes to each person on this campus that identified a challenge, organized a group of committed individuals and worked to be part of the solution. Teaching kidsmanaging afterschool programshelping patients on the road to recovery — our students did all this and more. We believe that service is how we will meet the challenges of our time, and we are proud that our students exhibited the leadership needed to make an impact on future direction of our nation.

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Posted by in Alumni, Associate of Arts in Human Services, Bachelor of Professional Studies, Master of Science in Childhood Education, MPA in Public Affairs and Administration, News. Comments Off

Sheila Speller, MBA in Media Management Alumna

November 10, 2009

Sheila Speller, an alumna of  the MBA in Media Management , is president and founder of Orielle Creative Company LLC. Her Company produced the Off-Broadway commercial production of …Another Man’s Poison at The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, NYC.

Ms. Speller is also the Theatrical General Manager.Ms. Speller produced the Equity Staged Reading of …Another Man’s Poison (2008), and currently has three plays and one full musical in development. In addition to theatrical producing, her company develops customized Business Plans and Presentation Packages for producers and theatre productions.

Read more about Sheila at the New York Women in Film and Television website.

Thanks to New York Women in Film and Television for the use of the excerpt.

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Posted by in Alumni, MBA in Media Management. 2 Comments »

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