As a first-generation college student, Dr. Belinda S. Miles knows what it takes to succeed against the odds — how to piece together bits of a complex puzzle and create the perfect picture. “This ability has served me well throughout my career,” she says. Now she’s applying that skill to further the impact Westchester Community College (WCC) has on the county.
As president of the college, a position she’s held since 2015, Miles brings a fresh approach to reinvigorating the Valhalla campus. Under her tutelage, WCC has added new industry-recognized certifications, stackable credentialing, and the broadening of online education offerings. Miles has helped secure key partnerships with the likes of Touro School of Health Sciences/New York Medical College and others to help WCC graduates seamlessly transfer to four-year institutions.
And her efforts are paying off. In 2016, for the second year in a row, the graduating class was the largest in the history of the college, more than 1,800 strong. On a national level, WCC is achieving visibility, winning a prestigious “2017 Innovation of the Year” award from the national League for Innovation in the Community College.
But Miles is most proud of her graduates. “I often say, ‘You can tell a tree by its fruit.’ Many of our graduates are succeeding at four-year colleges and universities, pursuing career options that range from law, criminal justice, engineering, and medicine, to business, social work, teaching, and technology,” she says.