President Drew Matonak
The start of a new academic year is often filled with lists of things to accomplish. These could be personal and academic goals or even something as simple as finding the location of your classrooms. As president of Hudson Valley Community College and a former community college student myself, let me be among the first to say welcome and also add a few more items to your “to do” list. Think of them as a roadmap to academic success and a positive first-year experience.
First, get to know the support resources at Hudson Valley. The one thing I cannot express strongly enough is – don’t be afraid to ask for help. When I began my higher education just out of high school, I attended Butler County Community College in western Pennsylvania. At Butler I found people who really cared about my academic success – people who encouraged me, believed in me or pushed me to work harder. Here at Hudson Valley, you’ll find those same kinds of people.
In the Learning Assistance Center (lower level, Marvin Library Learning Commons) and Center for Academic Engagement (second floor, Siek Campus Center), you’ll find academic support staff who want to help you achieve your best and succeed in your coursework. Get extra help and tutoring at the LAC, or learn how to develop positive study habits in the CAE. Our Collegiate Academic Support Program (lower level, Marvin Library Learning Commons) also offers mentoring, encouragement and life skills counseling.
In the Center for Careers and Transfer (second floor, Siek Campus Center), you’ll find professionals who can help you chart your career path or find a transfer destination. Our Wellness Center (second floor, Siek Campus Center) is here for those who may need professional counseling or assistance from medical care professionals. Take advantage of their support and wellness programs offered throughout the semester.
In our classrooms, you’ll find knowledgeable faculty who care about you and want to see you succeed. Ask them questions, and take advantage of their office hours. Our academic advisors are another great resource for students. I strongly encourage you to get to know them early in the semester.
Also, get involved in student activities and organizations. The Welcome Week Experience, sponsored by our Student Senate and Cultural Affairs program, is a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow students and learn about the many clubs and activities on campus. Hudson Valley also has many opportunities for community involvement and volunteerism, so get to know our Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement.
I realize that many students work either part-time or full-time, and many others have family responsibilities. Academics are certainly your first priority, but I encourage you to explore the many options Hudson Valley offers to get involved with fellow students or the community. You’ll discover that college life at Hudson Valley is vibrant inside and outside the classroom.
Those are just a few things to add to your checklist. But if you can check off each of these, you’ll be well on your way to a great first year at Hudson Valley. I look forward to meeting each of you this semester, and I thank you for choosing Hudson Valley Community College.