Students offer thoughts on quality of a Hudson Valley education

Tyler McNeil, Staff Writer

During the Middle States Association open forum, students voiced their thoughts about Hudson Valley on Monday, Mar. 2.

In October 2013, the Middle States Association, a non-profit organization based in the northeast, conducted a self study of Hudson Valley. The evaluation occurs every 10 years when the college applies to renew accreditation.

“[The campus] has been so very well kept up,” said Student Senate Secretary Nathalie McNair.

“We had a problem with the parking garage recently. They put in mirrors to be more conscience of safety to avoid possible accidents in the future when students drive around the corner,” said McNair.

The Middle States Association accredits higher education institutions through peer evaluation with help from the Commission on Higher Education and the Commission on Secondary Schools.

“We are a commuter college,” said Derek Torrisi, treasurer of the Student Senate. “People try to make their schedules so they can come here, go through classes, grab their lunches and head to work.”

“The support [is different here]. I’m from a very small high school so I was nervous coming to a big school but, I never felt lost,” said Erika Pelletier, early childhood education major.

Torrisi objects to the administrations failure to market the college.

“I question the marketing strategy of this institution. We have a lot to offer. I don’t understand how ‘Be Bold. Be a Viking’ communicates any of that to potential students,” said Torrisi.

“Money’s tight everywhere. I think [Hudson Valley] is doing the best with what they have,” said Josh Feldman, computer systems administration major.

Class size was also noted, which indicated student interest in small class sizes.

“There’s a lot of places who just want to make a buck. They don’t care about students,” said Feldman. “I looked around a bunch of colleges. This school has the best reputation in the country from what they offer.

Students at the discussion were asked by the Middle States Commission whether they wish to further their education after Hudson Valley and where.

All of those in attendance responded with “UAlbany,” except Feldman.

“I’m 35, so anything else isn’t really an option at this point”, said Feldman.

“The early childhood program has a really good connection with Russell Sage which I can get a dual certification to go from birth all the way to sixth grade which is awesome,” said Pelletier.

Jesse Tilley, Student Senate president, serves breakfast at a Fairfield Inn across from UAlbany, where he encounters regretful students.

“They tell me if they could go back, they’d rather go to Hudson Valley Community College because at the time they were caught in [anti-community] college stigma,” said Tilley.

“When they look back on it, they could’ve saved a lot of money and more support by going here,” said Tilley.

“We’ve talked to a lot of students along the way about how important the welcoming feeling, the support systems, the attention you get in your classes are and it amazes us at [Hudson Valley,” said Joann La Perla-Morales, member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Committee on Substantive Change and President of Essex County College in N.J.

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