Welcome Back to the New Academic Year

Dear Colleagues,

I am excited to welcome you back to a new academic year. Believe it or not, our youngest freshmen are the last class to be born in the 1900s. We are on target to have a similar enrollment as last fall, with approximately 6500 degree students and 700 College Now and Early College students to bring us to our enrollment target of 7200 students. We have a number of new faculty across departments and a number of newly promoted associate and full professors. A separate communication will share that information and the Academic Scoop will highlight some of the latest accomplishments across the college. Professor Nieves Angulo is our new chair for Mathematics and Professor Marcella Bencivenni is the new coordinator for Social Sciences. Thank you to Professors William Baker and Olen Dias for their three years of leadership to the Mathematics department, where so much work has occurred around developmental education and a soon-to-be degree in Computer Science. Thank you to Professor Peter Roman for his many years of coordinating the Social Sciences unit. A few of our long time faculty have retired this year, Professors Robert Cohen, Orlando Hernandez, Geraldine Ruiz and Carlos Sanabria. They will each be missed, but I wish them the best  of happiness and enjoyment in their retirements.


This summer we have been working on finalizing the Strategic Plan and developing our divisional Operational Plan. While our overall goal is student completion, OAA will focus this first year on collaborating with SDEM and CEWD to align our advisement practices and provide a clear roadmap for students and staff starting with entrance to the college and moving through to graduation. Activities are being put in place to help retain the students who enter the college declaring an Allied Health major. Recent data suggests we are not retaining this cohort of students past their first year of college. We are scaling up our Starfish early warning system to include all classes and we are ready to launch our eLumen course and program assessment software. We will share the entire operational plan once it is finalized.


Last year we witnessed our largest graduating class (again) with 1238 students. Our 3-year graduation rate inched up to 22.1%, so it is going in the right direction, we just need to see where we need to put more effort to create a larger yearly increase. CUNY published its latest Performance Management Process (PMP), which is attached to this email and reflects the great work you are doing at Hostos. For those of you who don’t know, CUNY puts out their PMP every year which shows the trends of the past five years on a number of indices. It provides an opportunity to compare ourselves with the other CUNY schools and the ability to see our own five-year trends. We have received preliminary feedback from Middle States that has commended us for our Periodic Review Report for the thoroughness of the PRR and “its directness in acknowledging that some work remains to be accomplished” and for “…an exceptional job of addressing the issue of remediation and improvement of graduation rates”. The reviewers’ report still needs to go to the Middle States board but we are excited and validated that the only feedback we received was to continue doing the work we have been doing. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this submission as well as all of you for the work you have accomplished since the self-study five years ago. There are so many ways we can continue to improve and support our students. I will be reaching out to many of you to help us with this work. Radiologic Technology has had their accreditation continued for another eight years with no interim reports- another great achievement. Dental Hygiene will be having their site visit in September.


There have been some major changes to CUNY’s remediation policies which will relief some pressure for our students. If students are registered in a co-requisite writing class, which is a combination of a developmental course with a college-level class, the student does not need to take or pass the CATW to pass the class. The student does need to pass the college-level portion of the course. For our students that means if they are registered in ENG 101, as long as they pass the requirements of ENG 110, they have met CUNY’s requirements for remediation and have earned 3 credits for college composition. In mathematics, if a student is placed in developmental algebra and is not intending to major in a STEM discipline, the student can take a college-level mathematics course with additional supports. If the student passes the math class, they have met CUNY’s requirements for developmental education and have earned 3 credits for college-level mathematics. For our students, they can take either MAT 115 Quantitative Reasoning or MAT 120SI for Introduction to Statistics and Probability, depending on the math requirement for their major. Any student who may want to pursue a degree in a STEM field needs to satisfy the algebra requirement so they can take calculus. As just a reminder, earlier last year CUNY changed the requirements for all remedial classes that the exit exams count towards 35% of the final grade for the developmental course. This policy puts more emphasis on students demonstrating proficiency in the course material. We will share some data on the latest results soon.


I wish you each a smooth start to your semester, enjoyment in the classroom, and look forward to working with you as we increase our students’ success and help them graduate on time. We have moved back to the B building so stop by on Monday afternoon between 3:30-5:00 to say hello and see the new space.




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