ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. (October 1, 2020) – Rockland Community College President Dr. Michael A. Baston, will be leading a SUNY-wide Keynote discussion on Wednesday, October 21 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. Titled “Beginning with the End in Mind,” Dr. Baston will discuss Guided Pathways as a way of streamlining a student’s journey through college by providing structured choice, revamped support, and clear learning outcomes. This free virtual event, organized by Monroe Community College, is open to members of any SUNY institution. Please register by October 2 at https://www.eventleaf.com/SUNYGPInstitute2SUNYWIDE.
Dr. Baston serves as a national Guided Pathways coach for the American Association of Community Colleges and consults with college leadership teams around the nation, helping them integrate student success initiatives, ultimately helping more students achieve their college completion goals. “Community colleges are critical resources for local school systems, underserved student populations and local worker pipelines,” he says. “In these times of great uncertainty, we must find innovative ways to succeed in our mission of educating students in a meaningful and safe manner. We need to engage campus constituencies with a “backward design” in mind, creating programs at the beginning that will lead to the desired outcomes.”
RCC is at the forefront of this movement with a variety of workforce programs already in place such as Technology Education, Hospitality/Culinary Arts, Health Education (Addictions Management), Graphic Design (Animation and Visual Communications concentrations), Automotive Technology and Cyber Security. The programs are designed to teach specific skills in a concentrated time frame so students can start a new career, earning a good salary, in just a few weeks or months. Key project outcomes include increased enrollment and retention, as well as improvements in financial literacy through increasing use of the Guided Pathways approach, which features additional supportive services, career exploration and inventories, and expanded access to financial support and financial aid.
About Dr. Michael A. Baston
Named as one of the country’s most Notable Education Leaders of 2017 by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Dr. Michael A. Baston serves as the 7th President of Rockland Community College. A national leader who has helped develop comprehensive supports that ensure students finish college, Dr. Baston’s work has been featured on MSNBC, USA Today, The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Community College Daily, The Community College Times and Black Enterprise Magazine. He is also a contributing author to Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens and The Handbook for Student Affairs in Community Colleges.
Prior to serving as President of Rockland Community College, Dr. Baston was Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, NY. He was also part of the Aspen Institute’s inaugural class of Fellows for Community College Excellence, where he explored systemic issues affecting the educational access pipeline and student success.
Dr. Baston began his career as a public interest lawyer representing various educational institutions and social justice organizations. His work with academic clients led him to pursue a second career in academia as both a professor of legal studies and business and a student affairs administrator. Dr. Baston holds a BA from Iona College, a JD from Brooklyn Law School and an EdD from St. John Fisher College.
About Rockland Community College, State University of New York
Rockland Community College, State University of New York, offers a safe, supportive learning environment for thousands of students from diverse backgrounds who appreciate small class sizes and personal attention from a distinguished, award-winning faculty that includes Fulbright scholars and SUNY Distinguished Professors. Thanks to the school’s affordable tuition, students who begin their career journey at RCC and then transfer to a four-year college can save up to $100,000 on their education. RCC is also proud to provide career training and professional development to adult learners looking to change careers or upgrade their skills through its new Career Skills Academy. More information can be found at sunyrockland.edu.