College admission made easier

Westchester Community College and Port Chester Schools partner to give students a leg up

SUNY Westchester Community College and the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District have announced a first-of-its-kind college admissions program for Westchester County. Starting with the class of 2022, Port Chester High School seniors may bypass the traditional application process for automatic admission to SUNY Westchester. With student and parent consent, Port Chester High School transmits personal and academic information through secure electronic transfer to SUNY Westchester, which automatically admits eligible students who are completing high school diploma requirements. The new approach streamlines college entry by eliminating two critical barriers – the college application and the application fee.

“Our collaboration with Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez, Ph.D., and (Port Chester) High School Principal Luke Sotherden is reinventing college admissions, streamlining processes and promoting access and equity,” said SUNY Westchester Community College President Belinda S. Miles, Ph.D.  “We are putting students first by making it even simpler, faster and more affordable to access high quality academic and career pathways that lead to high-wage, high-demand jobs and transfer to universities. Especially during these challenging and uncertain times, we are intensifying our efforts to strengthen student support systems that address academic, economic and other needs in fulfillment of our mission as an inclusive community college providing open access to opportunity.”

“Being able to partner with WCC on this has been super exciting and all of our juniors and other underclassmen should look at what automatic admission means,“ Sotherden said. “This means that if you work hard in your studies, you, too, can automatically gain admission to WCC free of any barriers and take college courses that can better your life after high school. All of our (students) are capable of great things.”  

“Reinventing the college admissions process has removed barriers to success for all Port Chester students,” Henriquez said. “Inclusive excellence means that despite adversity, we are ensuring that all students have access and opportunities to all that life has to offer. We are so grateful to WCC for this new relationship. We look forward to building on this incredible opportunity so that not only are all students accepted to college, but we also want to see them graduate from SUNY Westchester.”

Over the past three years, an average of nearly 60 Port Chester High School seniors chose to attend SUNY Westchester each year, making this an effective program for both partners. Port Chester seniors who opt-in to sharing information with SUNY Westchester will skip the admissions application process and receive an application fee waiver. The innovative program reduces anxiety around college admissions by transitioning students directly into SUNY Westchester’s Viking VIP program, which provides priority appointments with academic and financial aid counselors, preferred access to new student orientation services and an exclusive invitation to SUNY WCC Commitment Day.

Port Chester seniors are offered automatic general admission to SUNY Westchester. Students seeking entry into special programs such as nursing or veterinary technology must still meet corresponding program admission requirements.

Port Chester Schools is a pioneer in the community college’s first automatic admissions program, which will be expanded to include additional districts in the future.

For more, email or call 914-606-6735.

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