Westchester Community College received a national citation for expanding its efforts to increase diversity in enrollment, employment and other areas.
The Association of Community College Trustees has given the college the 2009 Charles Kennedy Equity Award for a variety of initiatives aimed at increasing the number of minority and women students and faculty, encouraging minorities to enter tougher specialties and helping immigrant students succeed.
“As the institution has become more diverse we wanted to do more in terms of matching our faculty population as much as we could with our student population,” Patrick Hennessey, said WCC’s director of college-community relations. “We really have stepped up the effort in the last couple of years.”
A key part of those efforts is the college’s $40 million, 70,000-square-foot Gateway Center. When opened next year, the center, the first new building on the college’s campus since 1998, will house the college’s English Language Institute and provide resources for traditional and immigrant students. The award application also highlighted two initiatives begun this year: the Dr. Julius Ford Teaching Fellowship, which assists minorities in preparing for tenure track teaching and administrative positions, and the college’s first annual diversity adjunct job fair.
“This is an extraordinary honor which makes me extremely proud of my association with Westchester Community College,” said Toni Cox-Burns, a trustee of the college. “I am pleased that our ongoing efforts to assure diversity are being recognized.”
For more information on the college’s diversity initiatives and the award, click here.
(Photo courtesy of WCC: left to right, ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown; WCC trustee Toni Cox-Burns; ACCT chairman Arthur C. Anthonisen)