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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

A group of Levittown parents are voicing their concerns with letting their children walk to school, since it would mean they would continue to cross Hempstead Turnpike.

 

“My kid has to cross [Hempstead Tpke.] daily without a crossing guard,” said Division Avenue parent Wendy Lantigua. 

 

For Lantigua and others, the dangers of Hempstead Turnpike became all to real after 13-year-old Brianna Soplin was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, last June. Not to mention the fact that another 14-year-old Levittown student suffered multiple injuries after being struck in hit-and-run, last February. 

Thirteen years since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, hundreds of residents flocked to Town Park Point Lookout, to witness a compelling new memorial tribute honoring all those who lost their lives that day.

 

At the center of the ceremony were two 18-foot-tall, sand-crafted tribute towers set against a 35-foot-long “Wall of Heroes” mural, which depicts the Manhattan skyline, and a reflecting pool at the base of the memorial display. 


Sports

The annual One Love Long Island (OLLI) Yoga Festival takes place at the Sands Point Preserve on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All profits will be donated to organizations that support survivors of human trafficking, locally and globally. 

 

The festival will unite 16 Long Island yoga studio communities in a round robin of the traditional yogic practice of 108 Sun Salutations from 9:30 a.m. to noon, whose offerings will look to create long-term and sustainable solutions to eradicate the human trafficking epidemic by raising funds and awareness for the cause.  

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

 

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Calendar

IT Board of Ed - September 17

All Star Comedy - September 18

Irreversible Paul Lynde - September 19


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
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com