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Alumni Cite Major Strengths of MCNY’s Programs

by Ed Gillen

The College surveys alumni periodically to gather long-term perceptions about the nature and quality of the educational experience. The results presented below list the top mentions in order of priority. MCNY alumni responding to the 2008 Decennial Alumni Study, cited Quality Faculty, the College’s Unique Curriculum and the Constructive Action as major strengths of the school.

Strengths of MCNY Programs

  1. Quality of Professors
  2. Academics and Curriculum
  3. Constructive Action Process
  4. Building Skills
  5. Accelerated Time Frame/Program Structure
  6. Purpose-Centered Education Model

The unique Purpose-Centered Curriculum at MCNY and the Constructive Action (CA) are key three strengths mentioned by alumni. Classes at the College are designed under four broad dimensions: Self and Others, Systems, Skills and Values and Ethics. A fifth course, called a “Purpose Seminar” helps students connect the dimensions, field experiences and their Constructive Action (CA) project with the Purpose’s key theme. For example, during the seventh semester or Purpose, Urban Studies students focus on Assessing the Needs of Urban Communities, while Business students Develop a Marketing Plan, and Human Services students Develop Empowerment Through Supervision. The diagram below shows the components of MCNY’s unique Purpose Centered Educational Model. The CA is the heart of the College’s Purpose-Centered Education, which entails learning, action and assessment. The CA is a project-based learning method that seeks to resolve or improve a workplace situation. MCNY students integrate classroom learning into their internship or work settings via the CA project and seminar, and they document it in the CA paper. The CA process is used to validate their understanding and implementation of the semester’s Purpose theme.

The CA serves as a source of learning, an opportunity to achieve something that has social and professional value, and a comprehensive method to assess student performance. Moreover, the CA as a process is a unique, transferrable tool that can be applied to virtually any situation – personal or professional. Alumni strongly feel that the CA met their expectations and they recommend it as an excellent learning tool.

Alumni Continue to Use the Constructive Action After Graduation

MCNY Alumni report that the Constructive Action plays a role in their personal and professional life even after leaving the College.

  • 74% Feel the CA has had a Positive Impact on their Professional Career
  • 57% Used the CA in Graduate School
  • 56% Use the CA process in their Professional Life or at Work
  • 47% Use the CA in their Personal or Private Life

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Graduates Cite Positive Satisfaction with MCNY Education

by Ed Gillen

If you’re considering attending MCNY, you might find the perceptions of real MCNY students and alumni to be of interest in your college selection process. MCNY routinely surveys recent graduates to gauge their opinion of the education provided. The results below, from the 2007-08 graduating class, clearly show that the vast majority (86%) are satisfied with the College.

A very high level of MCNY graduates (80%) said they would recommend the degree program they just completed to a friend considering college. Common reasons to encourage other students to attend MCNY include:

  • Accelerated nature of MCNY’s programs
  • Convenience of academic schedule
  • Quality of instructional programs
  • Ability of the academic programs to enhance professional careers

MCNY is committed to enhancing the educational experience of all of its students. Student feedback from the Annual Graduation Survey, and other outcome assessments, are used by academic planners and administrators to make improvements to programs and services.

MCNY Graduates are Promoted and Earn More

Some of the reasons for this strong willingness to recommend MCNY may stem from the results produced in the employment area. 78% of recent graduates report they are working in full-time positions and 8% are working in part-time jobs. Others are pursuing additional education. MCNY graduates are most commonly employed in the following areas:

  • 37% Nonprofit Human Service/Social Service
  • 15% Healthcare
  • 11% Government
  • 9% Media and Communications

Nearly three in ten 2007-08 graduates (29%) report being promoted since starting at MCNY. Graduates also report earning more income. On average, undergraduate salaries increased $5,000 and graduate level student pay increased $4,972. Considering the accelerated nature of the programs (2 years eight months for undergraduate and typically one year for graduate) this is a significant accomplishment.

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MCNY Student Satisfaction Continues to Improve

by Ed Gillen

MCNY has always been interested in serving its students well. That is why the College has conducted student satisfaction studies during the past several years using the nationally-recognized Noel-Levitz Adult Student Priorities Study (ASPS). In 2008, student perceptions continued to improve as the College received an Overall Satisfaction rating of 5.39 out of a possible 7.00.

“The trend of consistently improving student satisfaction scores is testament to the effort faculty, staff and administration have invested in enhancing the total learning environment at the College,” said MCNY president Vinton Thompson.

Overall student satisfaction with MCNY experience.

The improvement in Overall Satisfaction was driven primarily by better scores in Academic Advising and Service Excellence, as well as increased levels of satisfaction in Admissions and Financial Aid, Campus Climate, and Registration Effectiveness.

MCNY uses correlation analysis to identify areas to prioritize for improvement as part of its strategic plan. Students indicate that Quality Teaching and the Campus Climate are highly related to Overall Satisfaction.

Key Study Areas Correlated with Overall Satisfaction

  1. Instructional Effectiveness
  2. Campus Climate
  3. Service Excellence
  4. Academic Advising

MCNY’s faculty and administration will use the ASPS results, and other student outcomes measurements, to make targeted improvements in a wide variety of areas as part of the College’s 2009-2014 Strategic Plan.

Look for future communication on the College’s 2009-2014 Strategic Planning efforts and other Student Outcome Measurements and Assessments in this area of the MCNY website.

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National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Results

by Ed Gillen

I am the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment here at MCNY and I was asked to post on this blog to share some of the results from the recent National Survey of Student Engagement. (NSSE)

If you are thinking about applying to MCNY this might give you a little insight in terms of what students have to say about the institution.

NSSE is a nationally standardized assessment that asks students about the time they devote to educationally purposeful activities, and it asks whether the institution uses effective educational practices to encourage students to do the right things.

Research has shown that educationally effective schools channel student energy toward the right activities. NSSE looks at five key areas of effective educational practice shown below.

During the spring 2008 semester MCNY surveyed Purpose 2 and Purpose 8 undergraduates using the NSSE. Overall, MCNY did very well when compared with other private colleges in the Mid East region (colleges in NY, PA, NJ, DC, MD, DE). Specifically…

  • MCNY received higher scores than the comparison group in Active and Collaborative Learning and Supportive Campus Environment.
  • MCNY tied the comparison private school group in the Level of Academic Challenge and Student-Faculty Interaction.
  • MCNY received lower scores in Enriching Educational Experiences. This latter finding could be a function of our accelerated program, combined with students’ work and family responsibilities. Basically there is not a lot of time for co-curricular activities.

MCNY will use the results to further enhance our strengths in Active and Collaborative Learning and Supportive Campus Environment, and we will look for ways to improve Enriching Educational Experiences. Additionally, MCNY may focus on ways to exceed the private college comparison group scores in the areas where we are currently tied – Level of Academic Challenge and Student-Faculty Interaction.

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