Berkeley College Leadership and Faculty Share Higher Education Insights during APC Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Contact: Kelly Depsee
Director, Communications and External Relations
973-200-1099
KME@BerkeleyCollege.edu
BERKELEY COLLEGE LEADERSHIP AND FACULTY
SHARE HIGHER EDUCATION INSIGHTS DURING APC SUMMIT

Panelists Discuss COVID-19 Safety Protocols, Diversity and Inclusion, and Engaging Students in the Virtual Classroom

APCSummit
APC Michael Smith Berkeley

Photo Caption: Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College (top row, center), discusses COVID-19 campus safety protocols during a higher education summit hosted by the Association of Proprietary Colleges on July 21 and 22, 2020.

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Students returning to the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic must feel safe before they can focus on academics, said Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College, during a higher education summit hosted by the Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) on July 21 and 22, 2020.

President Smith shared that Berkeley College School of Health Studies students returning to the classroom to complete their lab training this summer were reassured by the health and safety protocols in place. Students are provided with face masks and face shields, and classrooms are sanitized after each use. Each day students, faculty and staff must verify their wellness through a digital health screening assessment using the Berkeley College app before they are cleared to enter campus buildings.

President Smith added that the transition online was seamless for most students, who benefited from Berkeley College’s years of leadership in distance learning.

“Berkeley College has been fortunate because we have been in the online space for more than 20 years,” President Smith said. “I think the question about the quality of online education is in the rearview mirror.”

Panelists during the “Reimagining Fall 2020” segment included President Smith; Sue Cumoletti, Director, Syracuse Market, Bryant & Stratton College; and David Cohen, President of Five Towns College. The session was moderated by Janet Silver, Principal, Hinman Straub.

Encouraging Diversity and Inclusion on Campus

Berkeley Provost APC

Photo Caption: Marsha Pollard, PhD, Provost, Berkeley College (left column, second from top), discusses Berkeley College’s initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion during a higher education summit hosted by the Association of Proprietary Colleges on July 21 and 22, 2020.

The second panel, titled “Encouraging Diversity and Inclusivity on Your Campus,” examined higher education initiatives focused on diversity and equity, as well as ways to engage students who may feel marginalized.

“Just like diversity, we need a multifaceted approach,” said Marsha Pollard, PhD, Provost, Berkeley College. “This is an ongoing dialogue. We are having these discussions because of what is going on right now (in the world). If we are really going to make progress, there needs to be continued conversations.”

The panelists emphasized self-reflection to recognize and address implicit bias, and shared ways to encourage a safe environment for civil discourse.

“I believe in the power and the mission of higher education to be a force of social justice,” Pollard said. “We need to push for a more tolerant academic environment that allows students to express disagreement respectfully and productively.”

Panelists included Pollard; Warren Rosenberg, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, The College of Westchester; and Angela Jaspur, Dean of Students, Five Towns College. The session was moderated by Shaunna Payne-Gold, EdD, Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Towson University.

Faculty Engage Students in the Virtual Classroom

Faculty Berkeley APC

Photo Caption: Berkeley College faculty, including (top row, starting second from left) Byron Hargrove, PhD, Humanities and Social Sciences and Director, Honors Program; Arjune Sharma, Accounting; and Jennifer Moschella, English and Colleges Skills, discuss ways to engage students in the digital classroom during a higher education summit hosted by the Association of Proprietary Colleges on July 21 and 22, 2020.

Berkeley College faculty shared ways to engage students in the online landscape during a session titled “Combating COVID-19 in the Virtual Classroom.”

“Pre-COVID-19, I taught mostly in the classroom,” said Arjune Sharma, Professor, Accounting, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®. “In the post-COVID world, I had to build a toolbox of robust digital resources.”

Jennifer Moschella, Professor, English and College Skills, Berkeley College, highlighted how resources such as Zoom polls, digital breakout rooms and Google forms can provide immediate engagement.

“It takes a lot of effort to transform an in-person training to 100% virtual, but it takes perhaps even more effort to ensure that the information is being retained,” Moschella said.

Byron K. Hargrove, PhD, Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences and Director, Honors Program, Berkeley College, said faculty should be willing to try something new, but added that they should beware of digital overload.

“Don’t overdo it,” Hargrove said. “(The resources) have to make sense. They have to help serve your learning objectives. You need to be aware of what is going to work for you, and get feedback from the students.”

About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, as well as in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 5,700 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for seven consecutive years. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers.

About the Association of Proprietary Colleges

Founded in 1978, Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) represents 12 degree-granting colleges on 23 campuses across New York State. The Association consults regularly with state and federal decision makers and advocates in favor of legislation and policies that support the goals of higher education and protect the interests of our members’ students. The members of APC have a common commitment to educational excellence, access and affordability.

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