University College Gets a New Director
September 25, 2013
Dr. Cherita Weatherspoon is Cheyney University's new Executive Director of University College
Cheyney University welcomed Dr. Cherita Weatherspoon this month as the Executive Director of University College. Weatherspoon is no stranger to CU. In 1996, Cheyney provided Dr. Weatherspoon with her first job as an admissions counselor. She was straight out of graduate school from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she received both a Master of Arts degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management.
University College is a core support network of services provided under one umbrella for all students on Cheyney’s main campus. The services are targeted to support first and second year students in a streamlined process that provides counseling, academic advising, peer mentoring, and other resources. Additional information can be found at www.cheyney.edu/universitycollege/index.cfm.
Dr. Weatherspoon is a higher education professional with over 15 years of experience in administration, student support, and program development and management. She has worked at several community colleges and universities throughout the Pennsylvania region. She is the author of “Community College Leadership Defined: Identifying, Developing and Assessing the Competencies Necessary for Leadership Success in the 21st Century (2010)” and contributing author in “The Gratitude Book Project: Celebrating Moms & Motherhood (2011).
Weatherspoon, who received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Delaware State University in 2009, is a 1990 graduate of nearby Chester High School. She considers herself to be the poster child for state school education. She provides a clear example of how one can overcome obstacles and become successful despite humble beginnings. She is both a role model and a leader.
Dr. Weatherspoon is certain the University needs to increase its expectations of undergraduate students as they seek an education. "It is the University's responsibility to support students throughout this process. This support entails holding learners accountable, being role models and training undergraduates in how to be a successful Cheyney University student," she explains. "That means upholding a professional body of administrators who model quality behaviors--administrators who talk and interact professionally in their communications with each other and with students, who take pride in being a part of Cheyney, and who appreciate the impact that we can have on the lives of our students."
In addition, Dr.Weatherspoon believes customer service has a major impact on how students engage with the University. Ultimately, she states, “the students are the customers and if we are doing things that are causing students to not want to be here, we must fix that.”
One thing heavy on Weatherspoon's mind is retention. “Retention is the big buzz word here,” she observes. She insists that the University can immediately impact rentention through attention to internal factors like customer service, processes and policies. Moreover, Dr. Weatherspoon asserts how pertinent it is that administrators treat each other with respect across departments and divisions, and treat students with respect, too. The bottom-line, she says is, “Students should feel welcomed, engaged and supported.” Dr. Weatherspoon believes that Cheyney is strategically positioned for great progress and is honored to be a part of its past, present and future.