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Nassau Community College: Failing Our Students

My office released a report last week that found the 2012 graduation and transfer rate at Nassau Community College (NCC) dropped to 28 percent: less than one third of NCC students finished their degrees or transferred to a four-year college. NCC went from being one of the best community colleges in New York in 2009 to one of the worst in 2012, when it ranked 31st out of 35 community colleges in New York State.

 

The steep decline in graduations and transfers at NCC should be of concern to every taxpayer in Nassau County and to the 23,000 students who enroll at NCC hoping to receive a quality college education at a reasonable price. NCC is funded primarily through student tuition, state aid and Nassau County taxpayer money, receiving more than $52 million from the County in 2012.

 

Historically, NCC has provided high quality, affordable education, serving as an essential alternative to costly private colleges and universities for many Nassau residents. It ranked at or above the state average through 2009, and as high a 9th in the State as recently as 2005. The recent results are more than disappointing. NCC has obviously lost its way and is failing our students. This is unacceptable and must change. 

 

The decline in NCC’s performance appears to have occurred during a period of prolonged administrative turmoil following 27 years of stable management at the College. The apparent turmoil stemmed from a conflict between the new president and faculty regarding decision-making on academic matters. This long-running conflict eventually led to the president’s early departure in July 2012.

 

There has been no permanent president at the College since. The current acting president, Dr. Kenneth Saunders, was appointed Acting Officer-in-Charge of the College in July 2012 and Acting President of the College in January 2013. NCC has gone too long without a permanent president with authority and support from the Board of Trustees, to the obvious detriment of thousands of students. 

The appointment of Dr. Saunders or another highly qualified individual to permanent president is long overdue. It is time to restore NCC to being one of the best community colleges in New York.
 

Our students and tax dollars deserve better. 

 

A full version of the report can be found on my website.  http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Comptroller/index.html


News

Residents are in a fervor over Nassau County’s recent decision to remove 176 oak trees along a mile-and-a-half stretch of Seaman’s Neck Road.

 

“It’s outrageous,” said local resident Lee Gardner. “It changed the entire landscape.”

 

Like most of her neighbors, Gardner said she was shocked, since the county did not notify residents. 

Nassau County drivers are up in arms due to the recent implementation of school zone speed cameras, which have issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents beef with the county’s speed cameras stems from the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.

 

Director of Nassau County Traffic Safety Chris Mistron said that while some residents were taken by surprise, summer school hours are still considered a violation period. 


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday Aug. 7. We had 33 golfers and a record 8  who scored under 40.  Low overall score was won by newcomer Ed Hyne with an impressive 33, his second low net in a row. Charlie Acerra scored a solid 35, and won low overall net with a 26; his best score in 4 years.

 

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more.  The league is a 100 % handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.

Golfer Annie Park, 19, of Levittown came close at the U.S. Women’s Amateur tourney, but missed the cut, finishing at 149, 9 strokes over par and just one stroke away from the match-play cut-off. 

 

“I couldn’t make any putts, so then I had more pressure into my shots to get it closer,” Park said, “but obviously that’s not going to work.”


Calendar

Island Trees Board of Education - August 20

Theatre: The Normal Heart - August 22

KC and the Sunshine Band - August 23


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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