Serving the Needs of the Individual Student
- Mercy College
Mercy College prides itself on being one of the country's most affordable, private not-for-profit colleges. With a main campus in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and other locations in Manhattan, Bronx, Yorktown Heights and online, Mercy has partnered with The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation to provide scholarships for mature women enrolled at its NYC campuses. The Foundation's unique commitment to support the needs of mature women scholars aligns with Mercy's mission to provide motivated students with the opportunity to transform their lives through higher education.
Established at Mercy College during the 2011-2012 academic year, the Newcombe Scholarship for Mature Women Students program has awarded financial support to numerous Mercy students. These students have gone on to become engaged members of Mercy's student body - a testament to the Foundation's support, Mercy's student engagement capacity and the synergy between the two organizations.
The following is an article submitted by Phillip A. Keefe, Director of the Office of Institutional Advancement at Mercy College.
Mercy's Support Programs
Mercy College has developed innovative and nationally-recognized programs to increase student success and engagement. These services provide a tremendous amount of support to students, especially adult students who may be juggling multiple priorities outside of class.
From enrollment to graduation, students are paired with a professional mentor who serves as an integrated support system for academic, career and personal growth. This program, called PACT (Personalized Achievement Contract), revolutionizes the college experience by providing an unsurpassed level of individualized support. Each student involved in PACT is assigned a highly trained mentor whose sole purpose is to meet the interests, needs and goals of each student. Mentors are cross-trained in a multitude of topics and skills. A close partnership between the mentor and student is established through frequent meetings (mentors stay in contact an average of 16 times per semester, twice the national average), enabling mentors to give the best, most accurate and customized advice to each student. PACT has received national recognition from the White House and it has been recognized in higher education as a model for student retention and engagement.
In combination with the personalized attention students receive through PACT, Mercy offers robust career services with a lineup of dynamic programming. The popular event series, "Lunch with a Leader," brings business executives to campus for intimate lunchtime meetings with students.
Various learning and academic centers provide students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience and develop their potential outside of the classroom. Mercy's Vitale Center for Academic Excellence and Innovation offers peer and professional tutoring services and academic resources.
Students graduate armed with knowledge and experiences to be successful in their chosen path, a personal and professional network in place and an understanding of their personal brand and skills.
With more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs, including a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Mercy offers a wide variety of courses, including many of today's most in-demand and innovative degree programs that were created with today's busy students in mind. For example, the School of Business offers 3-year undergraduate and 1-Year M.B.A. degrees, providing students with the opportunity to accelerate studies. This can be especially important to the non-traditional student who must juggle family, work and other responsibilities while trying to earn a degree within a reasonable time structure. The School of Education created the innovative 5-Year B.S./M.S. Dual Degree Program, designed to reduce the time and cost needed to invest in a Master's degree. Mercy was one of the first colleges in the nation to offer a dual B.S./M.S. in cybersecurity, an area with high-predicted job growth in the next 10 years. Mercy's adult students have no difficulty connecting their studies to professional careers. Courses are offered across a range of modalities, including four metropolitan campuses in Dobbs Ferry, Manhattan, Bronx and Yorktown Heights, and online. More than 40 degree programs are offered entirely online. This allows for the flexibility necessary to serve the needs of adult students.
Mercy College also enrolls over 1,000 transfer students every year and has articulation agreements in place with area community colleges. An associate degree can lead to a four-year degree and even a Master's degree at Mercy College.
Student Success Story
"Education is power," says Valencia Moore, a 41-year old Mercy College student, mother of four and Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation scholar. "I tell this to my children all of the time. You have to be knowledgeable about what is going on in your surroundings and in the world."
Moore chose Mercy because of its academic reputation, esteemed faculty and class scheduling options. She loves the flexibility and ease in scheduling courses at Mercy, stressing that this has been a "tremendous" asset to her and would be so for other adults pursuing a college degree.
According to Moore, the human capital at Mercy College has been another source of support. "At Mercy, the faculty are amazing people. I have professors who I can go to for support. Dr. Chelsea [Kuo] comes in early and if she knows I need to talk, she is always there. The staff in student services - especially Senior Assistant Director, Monelle Hylaris, and Counselor, Dana Patterson, and the rest of the team in the Manhattan office - are always there." As she prepares to finish her undergraduate degree in behavioral sciences, Moore plans to pursue graduate studies in counseling at Mercy. Her long-term plan is to use her education to provide counseling services to children and work as the director of a child support program. One day, she would like to write a book about her experiences.
Reflecting on her time at Mercy, Moore concludes:
"Mercy saw that I was serious about my education. I am very grateful for their support and for The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation's support, without which I would not have been able to complete my college degree, which is a huge priority for me professionally and personally. Now I feel like there is nothing that could stop me from achieving my goals in life.
"I serve as a beacon of inspiration to my children because I am truly living what I preach and I am teaching them by example: that education is important and to strive to the best no matter what the odds are."
Valencia Moore will graduate and join Mercy College's network of 45,000 alumni around the world. The Office of Alumni Relations serves as another source of support for graduates and frequently hosts events that bring the College community together, affording alumni with the opportunities to reconnect and grow their networks.
For more information about services for adult, returning and transfer students at Mercy College, please visit www.mercy.edu.