Welcome Back

Sent: Monday, January 28, 2019 10:01 AM
Subject: Welcome back


Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to a new semester. I can’t believe we are beginning the Spring 2019 semester- time definitely flies! We currently have 6368 students registered, which is about 200 students lower than our target. CUNY launched a new admissions process this semester which has had a few obstacles. We are in a much better place than our sister institutions because of the hard work of our student development colleagues and the continued collaboration between our divisions. There are still a number of students in the process of registering so we are keeping registration open until Thursday. I will send an update when we close registration so you can print out updated rosters. This semester we will witness our first graduating class of HERO students and our second graduating class of Melissa Riggio students.


Based on some data we have been reviewing, we had over 1200 students earn WU grades last semester. These grades are given to students who disappear during the semester. It has a negative impact on their financial aid. Please let students know it is much more advantageous for them to officially withdraw from their classes. Also please share with students the services we have on campus to help support their learning. Learning is hard and messy and it takes time to learn new and challenging information. It might be helpful if you are willing to share with your students a time when you struggled and how you overcame it. We have all struggled at some time and it takes effort to learn. They are not alone in this plight. Also please share with students the non-academic services offered at single stop (http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/Programs/Single-Stop-USA-Resource-Center). They can receive help filing their taxes, be referred for legal services, food pantries, scholarships and more. Students may have been effected by the government shutdown and can benefit from these resources. Another suggestion is if students are struggling as the government tries to get up and running again, you can post one chapter at a time of your textbook on blackboard. As long as you remove the previous chapter, you can post a new chapter until the students have the funds to purchase the book. Or as always, the library has a copy of most textbooks on reserve for students to borrow for short periods of time. They have received Pell funds and textbook advances if they qualify, but they may have needed to use the funds for other essentials. There are changes to Pell that we will share in more detail, but a quick takeaway is that students who qualify for full Pell, will receive additional Pell funds to take up to six credits during the summer.


There is so much work happening on campus, but I don’t want to make this email too long so we will have additional updates in our Academic Scoop. I do want to share the work of our liberal arts committee who have continued to work with departments to identify new options in the degree program. Our priority is to redesign the program this semester in a way that brings more structure and clarity to the degree. Professor Linda Hirsch is leading that initiative. I have also asked Professor Matt Moses to take on the role of coordinator for the degree program, including oversight of both the First Year Seminar and the Capstone courses. Even though we have approximately 2000 students registered this degree, it is the only degree that has not had a coordinator. Once we locate a space, we will share the information so students have a place to go for support and to have questions answered.


Some other quick notes:


  • Our Allied Health Retention Committee is continuing their work to provide additional options for students interested in pursuing a health-related degree, including certifications to enhance their employability and transfer options.
  • Succeed@Hostos is open and ready for your input. Advisors are following up with flags.
  • Silvia Reyes is the interim director for HALC while Professor Isable Li is on travia.
  • Our search for a Grants Director is still ongoing. Please share the job description as we attempt to expand our pool of candidates. (http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/Hostos/media/Office-of-Human-Resources/career/hostos/professional/Development-Grants-Director_1.pdf)
  • We are putting together Middle States committees as we prepare for our upcoming self-study in 2021-2022. The earlier we begin, the more prepared we will be for the visit.
  • Professor Gail August is our chair for Language and Cognition for this semester while Professor Karin Lundberg is on sabbatical.
  • The COACHE survey will be deployed again this semester. I hope everyone takes the time to complete the survey. We have worked hard to address the concerns identified three years ago. Your feedback matters.
  • Professor Inmaculada Lara-Bonilla has taken on the responsibility of our Latin American Writers Institute (LAWI) as Professor Issac Goldemberg will be retiring after his travia.


I wish you all an inspiring and productive semester. Thank you for all you do for our students. We will continue to identify strategies to help our students feel a sense of belonging on our campus so they stay connected and graduate.


Best wishes,



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