College Road Map

Plan to succeed.

Preparation is the foundation for everything

Use the next few days to center yourself and prepare for the final transition back to college. You’ll find links to many useful handouts on transitioning,  study skills, and registration procedures for CWE on the New Student Orientation page of our website:

New Student Orientation.


Current Class Schedule and Textbook List

Current Class Schedule and Textbook List.

The countdown begins…

Seventy-one of you came to orientation last night, and we were thrilled to see you there! And you were troopers, hanging in there for presentations from faculty and staff, a yoga demonstration, and a cooking demonstration. We hope you learned some useful things about your new college home, and what it will take to get to your personal finish line. We’re a good support team to have on your side, and we’re all rooting for you.

Some of you mentioned that you wish we had given a tour of the facilities. Wish granted! On Monday, August 27, and Wednesday, August 29, at 5 PM, Elena Romero and Debbie Edwards-Anderson will give a brief tour of CWE. Meet us at the reception desk on the 7th floor promptly at 5 PM.

You also had questions about the list of assigned books for each course. We’ll post a  link to the most updated version.

We have a few important announcements:

The last day to pay your Fall 2012 tuition in person is Friday, August 24 by 5 PM at the Bursar’s Office, Wille Administration Building, Room A103, Convent Avenue at 138th Street. The telephone number to the Bursar’s Office is 212-650-8700.

The last day to pay your Fall 2012 tuition online is Sunday, August 26.

You MUST have a City One photo ID card to enter the CWE facilities at 25 Broadway. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE BY BUILDING SECURITY. To get your City One card, go to the ID Office in the lobby of the North Academic Center, NAC 1/204, Convent Avenue at 138th Street. ID Office hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 AM-7 PM and Friday, 10 AM-3 PM. The telephone number to the ID Office is 212-650-5902. Bring valid proof of identification and your validated Fall 2012 tuition bill.

See you on Tuesday!

We were detoured, first for health reasons, then for a brief vacation in Georgia and Alabama to see family. We’re back, and looking forward to meeting you all in person this coming Tuesday, August 21 at the New Student Orientation. If you haven’t RSVPed, please do so today or tomorrow. (BTW, RSVP is a French acronym for “Respondez, sil vous plait”, meaning, “Please respond”).

Here’s a preview:

CWE is an intimate place, so we believe that people who will be teaching, learning and working together should get to know one another. Our Dean, Juan Carlos Mercado and our Acting Department Chair, Professor Vicki Garavuso, will be present to welcome you.

You’ll get to meet the entire CWE staff–academic advisors, financial aid counselors, the office manager, the Dean’s assistant, and the college assistants who staff the front desk. These are the people who will assist you with making appointments to see advisors and tutors, who make sure your financial aid awards are processed, and who help you understand the College’s academic policies and rules, and help you make your decisions about which courses to take and what concentration to follow. Meeting them is your first step in establishing a relationship with them.

A yoga demonstration! Yoga is well known for its ability to help people who practice it manage stress. It’s a gentle and effective form of movement and helps us reconnect with, accept, and care for our bodies.

Recent graduates and continuing students will be interviewed by our “Is Hip Hop History” posse, Elena Romero and Warren Orange. These students will share their tips for managing the challenges of being an adult student while balancing school with family and work life.

How to eat healthy in spite of a hectic schedule–chef and herbalist Joy Jackson will demonstrate techniques for quick, affordable, nutritious and easy-to-prepare meals using the bounty of our city’s farmer’s markets.

Professor Alessandra Benedicty, one of the most joyous educators you will ever meet, will lead you in a study skills workshop guaranteed to build your knowledge and boost your confidence that you CAN do this.

…and more.

So, bring your open minds and your intention that Fall 2012 will be a time of positive transformation and growth. Have a great weekend, and see you in a few days.

20 Ways to Find Your Calling

20 Ways to Find Your Calling – Forbes.

Remember being asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Feel a little anxious because you still don’t know? Growing up is an incremental process,  something we do each day.

And the purpose of education is…?

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates contemplates this question from first-hand experience…read the comments, too.

School as Wonder, or Way Out
At the height of the crack era, teachers pitched education as the border between those who would prosper and those who would be fed to the great hydra of prison, teenage pregnancy and murder.

The science of optimism: “Fake it until you make it”

From the article:

“Elaine Fox, a psychologist at the University of Essex in England and author of an informative new book on the science of optimism, ‘Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain,’ says positive thinking is not the main thing about optimism.

‘What really makes the difference is action,’ she told me. ‘If you sit back passively, you won’t get the job you want.’

Her book includes the story of Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919), born to former slaves, orphaned by age 7, married at 14 and divorced at 20. Undeterred by racism and sexism, she became perhaps America’s first black millionaire by founding a company that made hair-care products.

‘Madam Walker’s rags-to-riches story was fueled primarily by her irrepressible can-do attitude,’ Dr. Fox wrote. ‘Setbacks were tackled head on with tireless energy.'”

The paradox of opportunity

We are taking a brief but important detour in our posts about DIS @ CWE because the following matter is extremely critical to your academic success:

Going to college is an opportunity, not a right.

U.S. federal law guarantees a free, public education from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Anything further is considered optional.

Grasping this reality will save you much misunderstanding, confusion, disappointment, and money.

At the end of the day, the choice to attend college is yours, and yours alone. There will be no parent nagging you about homework, no attendance officer chasing you down if you fail to attend class, and no mandatory tutoring sessions.

It is up to you to take full advantage of the opportunity that has been presented to you. The best, and most reliable, way to take advantage of any opportunity is to be prepared for it.

This is at once a wonderful and frightening prospect.

It’s a chance to look at everything you think you know about education and closely examine it. What’s true? What’s myth? What worked for you before? Even more importantly, what didn’t work, and what might you do differently this time around? Remember, you won’t get a different result doing the same thing you’ve been doing.

If you feel that the high school education you received was less-than-stellar and left you academically unprepared, you can do something about it. If you want to, and if you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices now, you can have a different, more positive academic outcome.

None of this means that you have to do this alone. But it does mean that you need to take the initiative.

Some practical examples:

  • Respect transition. If you’ve been out of school for a while, give yourself the time and space to adjust. Proceed gradually to build up speed. Gunning your engine leads to burn-out.
  • Get to class on time. Resist the temptation to do “one last thing” at work, home, or wherever you are beforehand. Chronic latecomers aren’t showing much respect for the professor, their classmates, and most importantly, for themselves.
  • Do your reading. Much of what you’ll be required to read will require your full attention and effort. Don’t give up if you don’t understand it all. Make note of the part(s) that you do understand, and make note of your questions about the rest. Use the dictionary. As you can see, this method of reading is an active, not passive, process.
  • More on reading…be realistic about how much time it takes you to get through your reading assignments. If you find that you read slowly (and this has nothing to do with your intelligence), you’ve got to build in more time to do it.
  • Use the writing consultants at CWE to help you with your writing. Make an appointment as soon as you get your first or second writing assignment. Think of it as a tune-up, and consider that we rarely regard our cars as inferior when they need a tune-up. We simply consider it a fact of car-ownership.
  • When your professor returns an assignment to you full of comments and corrections, do your best not to wallow in self-loathing or seethe with resentment toward the professor. Take the assignment home, and read the comments very carefully. Then consider how you can incorporate your professor’s advice. If you need more clarification after this step, swallow your pride, schedule a time to meet privately with said professor, and respectfully and politely request that she or he explain it to you again. The most important step is to apply the advice you have been given.
  • Try to connect what you are learning in class to what you already know. Make it meaningful to yourself. Keep a notebook handy to jot down thoughts, quotations, questions.

College as a foreign country

If you were planning a vacation outside the United States, you would probably consult a travel agent or guidebook. You’d want to know something about the weather, the currency, the tourist attractions. You’d need to know about any political instability or upheavals that could affect your personal safety or ability to travel freely. It would be in your best interest to learn at least a few meaningful phrases of the language(s) and something about the culture and customs. In a nutshell, you’d want to know something about the “do’s” and “don’ts”, and how things are done there.

This is a useful metaphor for going to college, particularly if you are a first-generation college student.

Consider College Road Map your personal travel agent and tour guide to The City College of New York Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education (CWE).

The name is quite a mouthful, we know. There’s a history behind it.

CWE was established in 1981 by The City College of New York in partnership with several New York City labor unions whose members wanted to attend college in the evening after work. CWE began by offering B.A. degrees in Liberal Arts, and expanded its offerings several years later to include B.S. degrees in Early Childhood Education.

CWE had such success in educating working adults that four of its students were selected as valedictorian in the span of twenty years. Many more have gone on to pursue successful and distinguished careers as social workers, professors, writers, publicists, entrepreneurs, and teachers. CWE has been an engine of reinvention for adult students. This is consistent with City College’s legacy.

The City College of New York (CCNY) was founded in 1847 and is the oldest and one of the most distinguished public universities in the United States. It began as the Free Academy, in a single building on Lexington Avenue at 23rd Street. In response to a rapidly growing student body, it established its current campus in Hamilton Heights in 1907.

Now for a brief lesson about the structure of your college…

CCNY is made up of several schools: the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the School of Engineering, the Macaulay Honors College, the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Engineering, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is composed of four divisions: the Division of Humanities and the Arts, the Division of Social Science, the Division of Sciences, and the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies (DIS).

DIS is our division. It houses the Department of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the Undergraduate Early Childhood Education Program.

Our next post will discuss who does what at DIS @ CWE.

Take inventory before opening for business

If you’re an adult student, chances are you’ve been living a self-sufficient life to one degree or another. You provide your own food, clothing, and shelter or contribute substantially to them. If you are working, you are using skills and talents, even if your job is not the job of your dreams. If you’re raising a family, or taking responsibility for the well-being of family members, you are also using skills and talents. If you have hobbies, or passions, or play an active role in your community or house of worship, there is something you bring to the table.

What are those things? How can you put them to use as a student?

These skills, talents, and interests are transferrable skills. Start taking an inventory of what you do well in your other roles. Are you good at organizing? Do you motivate people? Are you good at digging up information? Begin creating your list.

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